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Some parents and educators have long argued that same-sex classrooms offer benefits for boys and girls. In the second hour, we'll talk about a new study that shows that single-sex classes can cause more harm than good. (iStockphoto.com)

October 25th: What's On Today's Show

Oct 25, 2011

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NPR Foreign Editor Loren Jenkins Steps Down
As a young reporter in 1981, Loren Jenkins traveled to Cairo the day after President Anwar Sadat was assassinated and Hosni Mubarak took power in Egypt. Thirty years later, Jenkins guided NPR's coverage of the Arab Spring, as Mubarak and other leaders across the Middle East and North Africa fell from power. After 15 years as NPR's senior foreign editor, Jenkins is stepping down. He joins host Neal Conan to reflect on his long career, the dramatic changes in the world he's covered and the shifts in the business of foreign journalism.

Breaking Up With Your Bank Is Hard To Do
When Bank of America recently announced a $5 monthly fee for using a debit card, many customers said it was the last straw. They're fed up with the big banks, and promised to close their accounts, encouraged by online movements like "Bank Transfer Day." But breaking up is hard to do. With direct deposit, automatic bill pay, online banking and other conveniences, a growing number of bank customers are deciding that it's just not worth the time and trouble to switch banks. Host Neal Conan talks with Ron Lieber of the New York Times about the hassles, and opportunities, in switching banks.

Same Sex Classrooms
Parents and school administrators have debated the merits of single-sex education for years. In the past decade, the number of American public schools offering single gender classes has grown to more than 500. Now, a report in the journal Science debunks the argument that girls and boys do better in school when separated by gender. The study finds no empirical evidence that suggests boys and girls learn differently. In fact, the report's authors conclude that gender separation perpetuates sexist stereotypes and can hinder social development. Host Neal Conan explores the debate surrounding single-sex education with Education Week reporter Sarah Sparks, Renee Finke, a teacher in Missouri and Nathan Blackmer, a school principal in Illinois.

The Problem With Political Biographies
Washington Post writer Alexandra Petri updates the old adage, "There are three types of lies: Lies, damned lies, and biographical statements included on political websites." Petri writes the ComPost humor blog for The Washington Post. She skewers political biographies in a recent piece titled, "Marco Rubio's truer-than-true story." Petri joins host Neal Conan to discuss biographical misstatements and fabrications, from Thucydides to Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.

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