USA Today natl education & demographics writer. Author of THE GAME BELIEVES IN YOU: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter (out 4/21/15) gtoppo@usatoday.com

The video game that teaches algebra to 4-year-olds

qz.com — I met Jean-Baptiste Huynh-the Vietnamese Frenchman living in Oslo who persuaded the entire country of Norway to spend a week solving algebra problems-a few months after his iPad algebra application, DragonBox, had gone viral in Apple's App Store. Everyone I knew was asking me if I'd played it.

Freddie Gray funeral draws mournful throng in Baltimore

usatoday.com — Thousands of mourners and supporters are expected to descend on Baltimore's New Shiloh Baptist Church on Monday for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young black man whose death while in police custody sparked daily and sometimes chaotic protests. The mayor, police chief and Gray's family have pleaded that protests be kept peaceful.

Video games that work better than school

hechingerreport.org — I met Jean-Baptiste Huynh, the Vietnamese Frenchman living in Oslo who persuaded the entire country of Norway to spend a week solving algebra problems, a few months after his iPad algebra application, DragonBox, had gone viral in Apple's App Store. Everyone I knew was asking me if I'd played it.

New report shows urban 'donut' shifting

usatoday.com — The long-standing urban-suburban divide in education, income, race and other characteristics is being turned on its head as college-educated Millennials crowd into U.S. cities, new research shows.

Fewer than half of teachers now covered by unions

usatoday.com — For the first time since the rise of teachers unions in the 1980s, the percentage of USA teachers represented by unions in public and private schools has fallen below 50%, suggesting that the demographics of the teaching profession and the shift away from traditional schools are taking a toll on union membership.

Children's author tackles environment

usatoday.com — Award-winning children's author Paul Fleischman is nothing if not eclectic. In a career that spans decades, he has written fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction. His newest book, Eyes Wide Open, took shape after he began noticing dead bees in his California driveway.

Census: Florida's population overtakes New York's

usatoday.com — They are the Snowbirds Who Stayed in 2014. Florida has passed New York in population to claim the rank of the USA's No. 3 state, with almost 20 million residents, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday. California remains the most populous state, followed by Texas.

4 questions to ask yourself before transferring schools

college.usatoday.com — Most high school students devote a great deal of time to the college selection process. But what do you do if your perfect school no longer feels like the correct fit after a semester or a year? A natural reaction - and occasionally a wise option - is to transfer elsewhere.

Thanksgiving brings reprieve in Ferguson protests

usatoday.com — FERGUSON, Mo. - After days of turmoil, Ferguson found a semblance of normalcy on Thanksgiving Day, a reprieve after days of violence and protests that unsettled this town. Hundreds of protesters had gathered late Wednesday for a third straight night outside the Ferguson Police Department following the announcement that a grand jury would not indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Grand jury charges are easy, except against police

usatoday.com — New York state judge Sol Wachtler once famously remarked it's so easy to get a grand jury to indict, they'd indict a ham sandwich if that's what the prosecutor wanted. Except when it comes to police officers. A grand jury proved that Monday when it declined to charge a white Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black youth.
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Apr 28, 2015

RT @KeifferMitchell: We're the city of Frederick Douglass, Billie Holiday, Thurgood Marshall, Eubie Blake, Bea Gaddy. We're better than violence and destruction

Apr 28, 2015

RT @sarahbluemoon: We are still standing and proud! Free coffee to all police, national guard, fire and emergency personnel! #BeMore pic.twitter.com/9PHyPZw0Cw

Apr 28, 2015

Parents! Focus less on worrying about #Minecraft and more on understanding it gu.com/p/474hf/stw @gamebelieves

Apr 28, 2015

RT @ellenalpaugh: In the DC area? Come see USA Today's national education writer @gtoppo TODAY at Fordham LIVE! | 4:30 p.m. ET edexcellence.net/events/the-gam…

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