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


7:01 am
Sun June 16, 2013

After Technical Issues, Kentucky Education Officials Want ACT to Run Practice Tests


Kentucky Department of Education officials say they want the ACT testing company to run practice tests in the fall to ensure there won’t be similar technical issues experienced this spring.

In May, the ACT and other testing companies nationwide experienced technical problems while thousands of students tried access their tests online. KDE officials say this needs to be addressed as more schools are pushing for online testing.

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9:41 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Emergency Crews Responding To DuPont Louisville Chemical Spill Complete Work

Officials say the crews responding to Sunday's chemical spill at the DuPont Louisville plant have ended their work, but clean up and an investigation is ongoing.

The spill leaked 400,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid that forced a "Shelter-in-Place" warning to those living within a one-mile radius of the plant. Officials say the leak was due to an equipment malfunction.

According to a release sent out by the city:

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4:33 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

University of Louisville Approves Budget That Includes Pay Raises, Tuition Increases, No State Cuts

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees has approved the school’s budget for next year that includes pay raises, tuition increases and no statewide funding cuts.

“The good news is we’re not being cut next year. The bad news is we’re not getting any new money,” says U of L president James Ramsey, adding the school has faced 13 separate budget cuts over a 12 year period.

Kentucky did fund increases in 2005 and 2006, but following the recession the state cut higher education which meant $9 million the current fiscal year.

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Local News
5:08 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Seven Counties Services Extends Same-Sex Benefits To Employees

Credit Seven Counties Services

Seven Counties Services has announced it will extend health insurance to same-sex domestic partners for its employees.

Seven Counties is the state’s largest non-profit organization offering mental health and developmental services.

Vice president for Human Resources Lisa Leet says the board of directors approved the change after discussing it the past several years.

“We serve individuals who are frequently marginalized so we thought it was appropriate to extend our health insurance and dental insurance to a larger segment of the community," Leet says.

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3:22 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

KDE'sTerry Holliday and JCPS' Donna Hargens Talk Failing Schools

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens appeared at a community forum earlier this year.
Credit Devin Katayama

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says if Jefferson County Public Schools turns around its lowest-achieving schools—called "priority schools"—it would help turn around all statewide education results.

JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens says that doesn’t go far enough, and she maintains committed to results for all students.

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4:43 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

JCPS Preps For High Speed Internet Upgrades, Kentucky Comes Up Short On Tech Support

Technology is on the minds of Kentucky education officials who say they’ve identified nearly 40 school districts—including Jefferson County Public Schools—that are priorities for receiving upgrades to their high speed internet soon.

Kentucky Department of Education officials say state's public education system has been a nationwide leader in cloud-based computing, but KDE is struggling to keep teachers satisfied and adequate broadband Internet service in schools.

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1:23 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Districts of Innovation: What Waivers JCPS Received And Why

School of the future, according to the hit children's show The Jetsons.
Credit Hanna-Barbera

Over the summer, Jefferson County Public Schools will prepare to become a District of Innovation and will work with the Kentucky Department of Education to determine how it will measure the success of its new initiatives to improve student outcomes.

In all, six waivers were approved for JCPS and two were denied, but some other parts of the district’s plan may still need to be worked out. (At the bottom of this story, you'll find the  eight waivers JCPS requested and whether they were approved.)

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6:28 am
Mon June 10, 2013

JCPS Recruiting 4-Year-Olds For Early Childhood Programming, Funding Still Uncertain

Credit File photo

Jefferson County Public Schools is actively recruiting young children to enroll in the district’s Early Childhood Programs sooner, but many families have historically put off applying until late summer.

This year, the number of students the district can serve could also be affected by funding cuts at the federal level.

“Some of the cuts that have occurred, it will impact what we’re having and we’re still working through what that’s going to be,” says JCPS' Kathy Stovall.

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7:11 am
Sun June 9, 2013

The Last Days of School, From a Louisville Teacher's Perspective

The final week of school brings scenes of relief—a culmination of hard work—for Jefferson County Public Schools students and teachers. 

To learn more about what those last days of a school year are like, WFPL gave a recorder to a teacher who describes the relationships that are harvested and earned.

Meet Cherie Edwards, who has taught at Johnson Traditional Middle School for 14 years.

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