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
4:57 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

JCPS Hit Hardest by Sequestration

Credit File photo

The Kentucky Department of Education is asking school districts to be conservative when budgeting federal dollars for next year, as across the board cuts known as sequestration are expected to chop funds by 5 percent.

The commonwealth receives nearly $500 million in federal funding which goes to programs like Title 1 funding for low-income schools, improving teacher quality, vocational rehabilitation and English learner education.

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Education
3:56 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Louisville Tea Party Supports Charter Schools, Less Transportation, More Fiscal Accountability

Credit File photo

The Louisville Tea Party has developed new education initiatives the group plans to support through fund raising.

There are four initiatives on the Louisville Tea Party’s website. They include supporting school choice and charter schools.  The party says students should not spend more than 30 minutes on a bus unless parents sign a waiver allowing them to spend extra time being transported.

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Education
7:45 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Stories of Dropping Out: 'My Brothers Really Listened To Me'

Credit Creative Commons

Marcus McCormick sacrificed his own education for his brothers, sometimes stealing food from grocery stores to feed his hungry family. But after he dropped out of school and left home his brothers stopped going to school.

This is the second in a series of stories WFPL is airing over the next month profiling former public school students that left school before graduating. The series sheds light on the personal narratives behind statistics and data media often report. 

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Education
2:02 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Kentucky Education Commissioner Gives JCPS Expectations for Low-Achieving Schools

Holliday joined JCPS superintendent Donna Hargens at a public education forum last week.
Credit Devin Katayama

Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is taking steps to ensure Jefferson County’s lowest achieving schools—called priority schools—have the strategies in place to improve.

Holliday met with Superintendent Donna Hargens Tuesday and discussed numerous expectations and recommendations for JCPS to consider.

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Education
9:30 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Kentucky College Student's Financial Aid Needs Rise, Funding Stays the Same

Credit Shutterstock.com

Officials with the agency overseeing Kentucky’s college financial aid expect to figure out how many students will be receiving benefits in the next week.

The state doles out around $100 million in financial aid annually, but that money is on a first come first served basis.

Erin Klarer is with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. She says more people are understanding the importance of higher education.

“But at the same time there’s a lot more demand and the dollars haven’t been increasing at the same rate," she says.

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Education
6:48 am
Sun March 24, 2013

The Next Louisville: What is Louisville Doing to Support Public Education?

This week city and education leaders participated in a WFPL hosted forum to discuss what Jefferson County Public Schools system and city are doing to promote student achievement and ways they collaborate and what they need.

We were joined by JCPS District 1 board member Diane Porter, Metro Government policy director Tony Peyton and Dr. Bradley Carpenter with the University of Louisville, who has spent time in low-performing schools and has worked as a principal and teacher among other roles.

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Education
4:40 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Louisville Student Takes on School-to-Prison Pipeline

Credit fbi.gov

A Louisville student has organized a conference this weekend to discuss the School to Prison Pipeline, a concept that says many public school policies are resulting in a disproportionate number of minority and low-income students entering the justice system.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony for the first time last year bringing national attention into the chambers of the federal government.

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Education
4:45 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

'You Don't Demand More.' Louisville Community Members, Education Leaders Talk Education.

Credit Devin Katayama

Education and community leaders say the public school system needs local solutions to improve student achievement—but those solutions may vary depending on who you ask.

A crowd packed into St. Stephen Family Life Center Thursday to listen to Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Donna Hargens and other guest speakers who shared their thoughts on the challenges facing the district’s lowest performing students.

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Education
3:54 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Jefferson County Public Schools' Graduation Rates Improve; Officials Credit Initiatives

Click on the picture to see more graduation rate information broken down by categories.

Jefferson County Public Schools' 2012 graduation rates have improved slightly over last year.

Officials are celebrating some key indicators: The most recent 2011-2012 data says 69.4 percent of JCPS students graduated last year. Data for the 2010-2011 school year shows the rate was 67.8--a decrease from the previous year.

In the 2011-2012 school year, the state's graduation rates was 77.8 percent.  The 2010-2011 year it was 78.8, which was an improvement over the previous year.

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Education
7:55 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Stories of Dropping Out: 'I Felt Like There Wasn’t Any Use to Keep Coming to School'

Credit Creative Commons

Pierre Travis, 23, has lived in Louisville's West End his whole life.

Like other youth we interviewed for our series featuring students who at some point dropped out of the public school system, Travis attended several Jefferson County public schools. 

Travis says after being suspended sophomore year he was sent to Buechel Metropolitan High School, one of the district's several alternative schools. Here, he cycled in and out of the system over the next three years and ultimately left Buechel after being arrested for threatening a teacher, he says.

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