Greg Toppo is the national K-12 education reporter for USA Today. A graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., 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 worked for four years as a wire service reporter with the Associated Press, first in Baltimore and then in Washington, D.C., where he became the AP’s national K-12 education writer.
He 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. Toppo also co-led the USA Today team that in 2011 looked at educator-led cheating on standardized tests. The paper’s series prompted the Washington, D.C., inspector general to investigate high erasure rates in D.C. schools. Toppo was also a 2010 Spencer fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Game Believes In You: How Games Can Make Our Kids Smarter (due April 2015).