Devin Katayama

Midday Host/Education Reporter

Devin Katayama is an award-winning journalist who hosts the midday for WFPL Louisville Public Media. He's also the station's education reporter.

Devin earned his M.A. in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago where he was a Follet Fellow. While in Chicago, he won the Studs Terkel Community Media Workshop Scholarship award for his stories on street youth. 

Devin previously worked with WBEZ Chicago Public Media’s Worldview program and with Northern California KQED’s The California Report. He earned his B.A. in English Creative Writing at CUNY Hunter College in New York City. 

For more of his work, check out audiocollected.org.

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Education
3:29 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

State Audit of Jefferson County Public Schools Resurfaces Many Old Questions

Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen calls JCPS a "bloated" bureaucracy.
Credit Devin Katayama/WFPL News

The long-awaited state audit of Jefferson County Public Schools didn't give many surprises to the district's leader—in part because many of the issues were known to staff and are longstanding.

In fact, some of the same questions were raised in a 2011 audit conducted by Phi Delta Kappa, such as the cost of central administrator salaries.

Why do the questions endure?

"You've got to prioritize," says JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens.

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Education
10:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Kentucky State Audit Calls JCPS Administration 'Bloated.' Here Are Some Takeaways.

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

Jefferson County Public Schools’ management system is  “bloated" and the district isn’t providing teachers with enough classroom resources, according to a a state audit released Wednesday morning.

Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen’s office has completed its year-long report that includes 45 findings and several more recommendations to reform JCPS management and policies, some of which the district has already begun to implement.

Those policies, he said, could shift into classrooms millions of dollars now spent on administration.

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Education
9:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Louisville's Transgender Students: How Schools Are Places Of Support And Stress

Max St. John says the teachers and staff at his school have been supportive since he came out as transgender.

Yesterday, we heard from Henry Brousseau, who talked about the importance of pronoun usage to transgender students. Today, we'll hear from Max St. John who shares his story about what happens when appropriate pronouns aren't used.

St. John attends Doss High School and says staff and teachers have been supportive since he came out as transgender. But the classroom can also be stressful because many students and teachers don't know much about transgender culture.

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Politics
9:56 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

2014 Kentucky Primary: Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell Wins

Credit louisvilleky.gov

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell has earned his way to the fall election after winning Tuesday’s primary.

But Democratic attorney Karen Faulkner had an impressive showing for a first-time candidate who was out spent by a 5-to-1 margin.

O’Connell’s lead held steady the whole night and won by 10 points in the final tally, but he says that Faulkner receiving 45 percent of the vote is not a sign that people are unhappy with him.

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Education
1:22 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Jefferson County Public Schools Will Get The State Audit On Wednesday

The JCPS Board of Education voted 5-2 in approval of the audit.

After months of work, Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen says his office is ready to release an audit of the state’s largest school system that will help show how wisely Jefferson County Public Schools spends its money.

The audit is expected to show how JCPS spends its money when compared to other peer school districts. It will also uncover any conflicts of interest and look at whether district policies are adequate.

Here's the scope of the audit, according to JCPS.

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Education
9:48 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Louisville's Transgender Students: Henry Brousseau and the Question of Pronouns

Henry Brousseau says it took time for his school to support his decision to come out as transgender.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

Atherton High School is moving toward adopting an anti-discrimination policy that addresses a question: How should schools treat students whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth?

But countless transgender students attend Louisville schools that aren't Atherton—and questions remain. The restroom question that Atherton is addressing is just one.

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Education
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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Education
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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Education
6:30 am
Mon February 10, 2014

New Faces Join Opposition To Jefferson County School Discipline Practices

Credit Shutterstock.com

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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Education
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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