Devin Katayama

Education/General Assignment Reporter

Devin Katayama is the education reporter for WFPL Louisville Public Media. He earned his M.A. in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago where he won the Studs Terkel Community Media Workshop Scholarship award for his work on street youth in Chicago. 

Devin previously worked with WBEZ Chicago Public Media’s Worldview program and with Northern California KQED’s The California Report. He credits his volunteer work with KBOO community radio in Portland, Ore. and for for helping him achieve in public radio.

For more of his work, check out


12:52 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Listen: In Louisville, Education Instigator Diane Ravitch Shares Concerns About School Reforms

Education historian Diane Ravitch is the recipient of the 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Education.

She's against high-stakes testing, big business in schools, and doubts charters are the answer to improving public education. But Diane Ravitch, a New York University research professor who has become an influence voice in U.S. education, didn't always feel this way.

“It’s very difficult once you become embedded in a point of view to step back from it," Ravitch said Wednesday. "And I found that to be true because all your social networks tend to agree with you."

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11:43 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Education Instigator Diane Ravitch To Speak At WFPL News

Diane Ravitch won U of L's 2014 Grawemeyer Award for Education. She'll speak with WFPL on April 16.

Since working with the U.S. Department of Education, historian Diane Ravitch has recanted her support for many of the country’s education reforms, such as standardized testing and charter schools.

Ravitch is a leading national voice on education issues, and next week she'll will join WFPL and an audience in an exclusive interview to discuss the current and future state of public education.

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6:30 am
Mon February 10, 2014

New Faces Join Opposition To Jefferson County School Discipline Practices


A community group opposed to Jefferson County Public Schools’ discipline policies has gained more supporters and plans to meet this week to unify its message to the district.

Officials with the faith-based group Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, or CLOUT, say suspensions and other discipline in JCPS disproportionately affect African American students.

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7:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

What 3 New Kentucky Districts of Innovation Plan To Do With Schools

Credit Hanna-Barbera

Three new Kentucky school districts have received District of Innovation status—meaning they can get waivers for a handful of state education department regulations.

The Kentucky Board of Education has approved Owensboro Independent, Owsley County and Trigg County school districts, all of which were rejected in the first group.

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5:00 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Louisville's Simmons College Anticipates Higher Education Accreditation

Credit Simmons College

Louisville’s historic Simmons College of Kentucky is expected to soon be accredited for the first time by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. This comes in the middle of a renaissance for the historically African American school over the past several years.

Simmons’ history in Louisville is rich. It was founded in the 19th century by former slaves at Seventh and Kentucky streets. The school barely made it out of the Great Depression, and was hit hard again during the Civil Rights movement.

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3:01 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Jackie Green is Running for Louisville Mayor Again

Jackie Green owns Bike Couriers Bike Shops.
Credit Devin Katayama / WFPL News

Arguing that incumbent Greg Fischer has failed the city in critical ways, Jackie Green will  again running for Louisville Metro mayor.

Green, a 61-year-old transportation activist and small business owner, will enter the race as an independent.  Fischer, a Democrat, and Republican Robert Devore are the only candidates who filed for the May primary.

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Around the Nation
9:44 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Science Guy Bill Nye Debates Creationist Ken Ham

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 7:19 am



A famous trial in the 1920s tested the question of creationism. That question is still open for many people, and an argument over creationism versus evolution can sell a lot of seats. Last night at the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, its president, Ken Ham, was pitted in debate against TV personality and science educator Bill Nye. The event sold out in a matter of minutes. As Devin Katayama, from member station WFPL in Louisville, reports, a debate is not likely to change many minds.

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Local News
7:00 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Q&A: Ken Ham Isn't Out to 'Change Bill Nye's Heart' During Creation/Evolution Debate in Kentucky

Ken Ham
Credit Wikipedia Commons

The highly publicized debate scheduled for Tuesday in Northern Kentucky between Creation Museum president Ken Ham and  science educator/television personality Bill Nye has sparked critics from both sides.  

Some scientists argue that Nye should not engage the topic of creationism; others say Ham needs the the press to raise money for the development of a Bible-themed amusement park.

Ham took a few moments recently to discuss the creationism vs. evolution debate.

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4:49 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

JCPS Gets 48 'School of Innovation' Proposals At Deadline

Credit Hanna-Barbera

The deadline to submit proposals for designing the next Jefferson County public school has passed, and officials say 48 individuals or groups are moving on for review.

Initially, more than 80 groups expressed interest in the School of Innovation Design Competition—which set out to change the look of public education. 

The final 48 submissions will be more than enough to determine a set of strong semi-finalists, says Jonathan Lowe, who helps lead the project for JCPS.  

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Local News
7:08 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Louisville Runs Out of Extra Cash To Help Homeless Shelters During Cold Weather

Snow last month in downtown Louisville.
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

It’s about  5 a.m. and about 15 degrees. Volunteers walk over snow, onto the railroad tracks near Dixie Highway to assist with Louisville’s annual homeless count. Volunteers shout toward a dark spot underneath an I-264 overpass.  

“Anybody up there?” asks Natalie Reteneller, development director at YMCA Safe Place services. 

In two hours the group—just one of many spread across the city—find five people who agree to answer several questions.

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