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
12:00 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Author Ron Berler Spends a Year Inside a Failing School

We hear a lot about failing and persistently low achieving public schools in Louisville. But schools like this exist across the state and across the country.

Author Ron Berler spent a year inside Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk, Connecticut. He tells his story in his new book “Raising the Curve: A Year Inside one of America’s 45,000 Failing Public Schools.”

As part of The Next Louisville education project WFPL’s Devin Katayama spoke with Berler.

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Education
11:11 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Nearly 300 U of L Staff, Faculty Members Show Interest in Buyout Option

James Ramsey
Credit University of Louisville

Updated: The University of Louisville Board of Trustees is expected to consider approval of the school’s recently announced buy-out option for retiring staff and faculty members today.

According to Thursday's agenda, “the president recommends that the Board of Trustees approve the attached Voluntary Separation Incentive Program." The program spells out what participating employees receive for retiring or leaving the university in 2014. 

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Local News
2:35 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Kentucky Senate Committee Adds More Oversight to Child Fatality Review Panel Bill

Kentucky’s Senate Health and Welfare Committee is trying to add more oversight to a child fatality review panel in a bill approved Wednesday, but child advocates say the amendment doesn’t go far enough.

The panel was temporarily established by Gov. Steve Beshear through executive order last year. It’s meant to review certain child death and near death cases to ensure the system is doing everything it can to prevent child abuse and neglect.

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Education
7:20 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Stories of Dropping Out: 'I Started to Procrastinate'

Credit Creative Commons

Twenty-year-old Kimani Straub says he left Seneca High School just shy of receiving his high school diploma. He's been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and bipolar disorder, but he was always able to maintain good grades. 

But when he discovered after 14 years the man he thought was his father wasn't, things started to slip.

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Education
4:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

The Next Louisville: Educators, JCPS Board Chair Discuss Urban Education

What do zoning laws, progressive teachers unions and community organizing all have in common? They were all part of the conversation today during a WFPL education news special.

Many urban school districts with large student populations perform lower than their peers. Graduation rates and state test scores are dismal in areas like Chicago and Detroit where around 90 percent of students are low-income.

In Jefferson County Public Schools test scores and graduation rates are regularly below the state average.

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Education
4:03 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

JCPS ACT Results Rank in Middle of Large Urban Peers

Credit Casey Serin/Creative Commons

While Jefferson County Public Schools’ ACT test scores have traditionally been lower than state and national averages, it ranks among the middle of its metropolitan peers.

Comparing local schools to schools across the nation can be difficult. Not all states use the same tests or metrics and even graduation rates could be calculated differently, although the U.S. Department of Education is changing that practice so all states follow each student until he or she graduates.

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Education
10:45 am
Mon March 4, 2013

WFPL News Special Today: Challenges of the Urban School District

Credit Photo Archives / University of Louisville

Jefferson County Public Schools is among the top 30 largest school districts in the nation. Its $1 billion budget is the largest in the state but its test scores are often some of the lowest in Kentucky.

JCPS is not the only large school district struggling. Many large metropolitan districts perform lower on standardized tests when compared to their state averages and graduation rates mirror that same trend.

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Education
10:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

JCPS Discipline Code Up for Review, Dramatic Changes Unlikely

Changes to the Jefferson County Public Schools’ code of conduct for managing discipline are being considered this year, and officials say they will likely not budge on removing zero-tolerance policy language which research shows has been be ineffective.

However, school board member Linda Duncan--who is also a member of the committee considering changes--does say the new code will likely provide teachers and staff alternative ways to deal with trouble students, including adding restorative practice language.

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Education
6:38 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Jefferson County Teachers Union Pushes for Wiggle Room in Teacher Evaluations

Credit File photo

The Jefferson County Teachers Association says it wants more freedom to create its own teacher and principal evaluations, which are expected to be in place by the 2014-2015 school year. 

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Education
3:12 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

With Possible Buyout Program, U of L Hopes to Double Number of Departing Faculty, Staff

Credit File photo

University of Louisville officials say a buyout plan under consideration could lead to the retirement of twice as many faculty members this year.

The university is offering the buyout program—being called the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program—to save the school about $2.5 million.

But the program first needs participants or U of L will decide not to offer it. Eligible faculty and staff have until March 15 to decide whether they want to opt in. The program would then need approval by U of L’s board of trustees.

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