Greg Toppo is the national education and demographics reporter for USA Today. A graduate of St. John’s College, he taught in both public and private schools for eight years before moving into journalism.
His first job was with the Santa Fe New Mexican, a 50,000-circulation daily. He was also a wire service reporter with the Associated Press, first in Baltimore and then in Washington, D.C., where he became AP’s national K-12 education writer.
Toppo came to USA Today in 2002 and in 2005 broke the Armstrong Williams “pay for punditry” story that launched a widespread look at government propaganda. He co-led the team that in 2011 looked at educator-led cheating on standardized tests. The series prompted the Washington, D.C., inspector general to investigate high erasure rates in D.C. schools.
Toppo was a 2010 Spencer fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and is the author of the 2015 book The Game Believes In You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter. The New York Times Book Review called it a "deeply reported and compassionately argued book.“
In 2017, Toppo was awarded a Yale University Poynter Fellowship in Journalism. He also became president of the Education Writers Association, the 3,000-member professional organization for journalists who cover education at all levels.
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