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 Vocalo.org for helping him achieve in public radio.

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

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Education
6:27 am
Mon May 13, 2013

JCPS Suspensions Down; Struggle for African-American Students Continues

Data provided by JCPS

Overall suspensions are down in Jefferson County Public Schools this academic year, but the district is still struggling with one major at-risk student group.

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Local News
6:25 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Downtown Louisville Markers Celebrate Louisville Civil Rights Events

J. Blaine Hudson
Credit University of Louisville

Louisville will install the first of a dozen markers this week to note significant civil rights events and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the city’s Public Accommodations Ordinance. 

The idea was started by the late University of Louisville professor Blaine Hudson in 2011. The inaugural sign installed on Tuesday at 3:30 on Fourth and Guthrie streets will note local demonstrations and acts that led to the ordinance, which outlawed discriminatory practices in the city.

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Education
4:41 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Spalding University Announces New Third Street Republic Bank Academic Center

The Cosmopolitan Building is located at 981 Third Street.
Credit Courtesy of Spalding University

Officials with Spalding University have announced plans to expand the campus after purchasing the Cosmopolitan Building in downtown Louisville.

Once renovations are complete the building will be renamed the Republic Bank Academic Center.

Spalding president Tori Murden McClure says the bank met the school nearly halfway to help pay the $700,000 purchase cost.

“We couldn’t afford the full purchase price and they helped us out and we’re going to turn it into a 40,000 square foot classroom, laboratory and office complex," she says.

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Local News
12:09 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Kentucky Judge Says Cabinet For Health And Family Services Must Explain Record Redaction

A judge has ordered Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services to explain why it refuses to release certain information in child death and near death records, which has been a long-fought battle between the Cabinet and the media.

Since 2011 the Courier Journal and the Lexington Herald Leader have been in court with the Cabinet over two years worth of child abuse records.

“From the beginning they have felt the public was not entitled to anything. They continue to lose that fight," says attorney Jon Fleischaker who represents the media in the case.

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Education
2:47 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Jefferson County Teachers Association Wants More Say In School Improvement Efforts

The Jefferson County Teachers Association is trying to increase its role in turning around the school district’s lowest achieving schools and has laid out steps to improve collaboration between the union and Jefferson County Public Schools.

This week, JCTA president Brent McKim sent an email to JCPS superintendent Donna Hargens, in which he discussed 11 ways the union and JCPS could begin working together to improve turnaround efforts at the district’s 18 priority schools (see below).

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Local News
2:46 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Jeffersonville Preps Historic Homes for Relocation for Bridges Project Construction

Pictured is one of the Jeffersonville houses being prepped for relocation.
Credit Courtesy of Indiana Landmarks

The Indiana Department of Transportation has begun preparing the five historic houses being moved to make way for construction of the Ohio River Bridges Project's downtown span.

INDOT purchased the properties and has agreed to relocate the five houses, preferably within in the Old Jefferson Historic District.

Spokesman Will Wingfield says INDOT has secured new lots within the historic district for all but one of the houses so far.

Over the next couple weeks, the company contracted to move the homes will be prepping the route, which includes trimming 15 trees.

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Education
1:13 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

JCPS Among 17 Districts Applying For District of Innovation Status

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

Jefferson County Public Schools is interested in developing online mentors, teacher collaboration that emulates "successful characteristics of charter schools" and more 24/7 resources if it becomes a District of Innovation.

JCPS is one of 17 school districts in Kentucky applying for "District of Innovation" status under a new state law that allows districts to waive certain Kentucky Department of Education regulations and local board policies to improve student achievement.

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Education
10:23 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Education Forum Today: Who Are Louisville's At-Risk Students and How Are They Served?

Many Louisville students are labeled "at-risk"—some because of family education, health history or income levels.How are these students tracked, served and assured the opportunity to succeed?

Those questions will be explored in a public forum at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Iroquois Public Library, 601 W. Woodlawn Avenue.

WFPL Education Reporter Devin Katayama will be joined by the following guests:

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Education
4:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky Students' Written Exam Responses Dropped from State Assessment

Credit Shutterstock.com

The Kentucky Department of Education says it will drop the written portion of the state’s End-of-Course Exams—called the constructed-response questions—in its accountability system, which officials expected will save money and time.

But some are concerned the change, effective this year, is a step back from Kentucky’s recent education reforms. 

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Education
12:37 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky Education Department Resumes ACT Testing With Pencil and Paper

Credit Casey Serin/Creative Commons

The company contracted to provide standardized end-of-course exams in Kentucky has suspended online testing this week.

The Kentucky Department of Education halted the state’s ACT End-of-Course Exam last week after nearly 25 school districts experienced problems connecting to the test online. ACT officials initially told the department they had fixed the glitch, but later said more technical issues would prevent testing from resuming.

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