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

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.

Nation reacts to Ferguson grand jury decision

ksdk.com — Protests erupted across the nation Monday night, shortly after a grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. Demonstrators reacted in several cities, where police were braced for raucous protests, but they reported initially that gatherings were mostly peaceful.

Pope says annulments should be cheaper and easier

cruxnow.com — ROME - Pope Francis on Wednesday called for speeding up the process for granting annulments, a ruling from a Church court that allows a Catholic whose marriage

I’m upset that my parish priest refused to allow more than one person give remarks at my father’s funeral

cruxnow.com — The Catholic funeral Mass is not intended to be a "celebration" of a person's life, marked by a parade of make-you-laugh, make-you-cry intimate stories. But there is a loophole.

Voters pass wage hikes, legal pot; divide on abortion

wcnc.com — Voters on ballot initiatives in 41 states gave a resounding thumbs-up to recreational marijuana and higher minimum wages, while dividing on abortion-related measures and GMO labeling. Scores of measures that thickened ballot booklets from Alaska to Florida included a ban on bear baiting (overturned), immigrants IDs (rejected) and gun background checks (approved).
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Feb 27, 2015

Check it out ... RT @AhmetSeckin1979: i have a project about football, kids and Brazil,can you support or RT please? igg.me/at/soccertrain…

Feb 27, 2015

RT @MelanieAnnS: @gtoppo Strategy. Blood. Death. Protein. Join the oldest battle on Earth. ImmuneDefenseGame.com Only 3 days left to show your support!

Feb 26, 2015

Check it out! RT @AhmetSeckin1979: i have a project about football,kids and Brazil,can you support or RT please? igg.me/at/soccertrain…

Feb 24, 2015

RT @tim_cook: Remembering Steve, who would have turned 60 today. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." pic.twitter.com/0YD0gZ7jvm

Feb 24, 2015

Yes! Exactly how I imagined it!RT @m2sE: @gtoppo look! Your book already has a soundtrack! youtu.be/Ha7-6rGRTlE Can't wait to read it. :)

Feb 23, 2015

Don't mean to brag, but the spine of my upcoming book is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. pic.twitter.com/0Jbsc2MfBI

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