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


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.

Read more
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).

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
4:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky Students' Written Exam Responses Dropped from State Assessment


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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
Local News
6:47 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky, Walsh Construction Officials Hold Bridges Project Forum This Week

Credit Ohio River Bridges Project

Louisville-area residents will have a chance to discuss construction and traffic issues this week with Kentucky officials and the contractor group hired to design and build the new downtown bridge as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Walsh Construction has begun preliminary work for developing and building the new downtown I-65 bridge and reworking Spaghetti Junction. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Chuck Wolfe says residents can discuss that work and related issues this Wednesday.

Read more
6:45 am
Mon May 6, 2013

JCPS Deciding Who Gets Cut, But Officials Say Numbers Aren't Final

Credit File photo

Certain Jefferson County Public Schools teachers and staff will be alerted soon whether they shouldn't plan to return to the district this fall.

The district's overstaff and layoff lists—which are prepared annually-—are subject to change daily, says JCPS Chief Financial Officer Cordellia Hardin, but the school district must alert the state who it plans to employ by May 15.

Read more
8:26 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Confessions Of A Kentucky Derby Gate-Crasher

Stephen Johnstone and his niece, Sarah, crashed the Kentucky Derby celebration together in 2008.
Courtesy of Stephen Johnstone

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 1:21 pm

On Saturday night, 150,000 people will pack Louisville's Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky Derby. But only a few will celebrate the victory from the winner's circle.

Stephen Johnstone has experienced that celebration many times. He's been in the winner's circle with the winning families, jockeys and governors — but not once was he invited.

Johnstone is a retired gate-crasher. The first time he crashed the Kentucky Derby was in 1963. Johnstone and several college friends slipped underneath a fence at Churchill Downs.

Read more