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
11:50 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Rural Kentucky Education Co-op Wins $30 Million 'Race to the Top' Grant

Credit Shutterstock.com

A co-op that includes 17 eastern Kentucky rural school districts has won $30 million in federal grant money.

“We were ecstatic. I don’t think words can express how important we believe this is for the region’s schools and for the communities in the region," says Jeff Hawkins, executive director of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, which serves over 100 schools and 40,000 students.

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Business
8:16 am
Wed December 18, 2013

JCPS, Kentucky Among National Leaders in Adding National Board Certified Teachers

Jefferson County Public Schools added the fourth most National Board-certified teachers last school year out of all districts nationwide.

And Kentucky added the sixth most board certified teachers out of all the states.

The advanced certification is a rigorous performance-based process that can take up to three years to complete. It’s a voluntary credential that compliments degrees and other standards that are required by individual states.

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Education
3:08 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Houston Barber Named the Academy at Shawnee's New Principal

The Academy at Shawnee's new principal will be Houston Barber who currently serves as principal of Fern Creek High School.

Fern Creek was one of Jefferson County Public Schools' success stories this year when the state released its accountability data.

Fern Creek had the highest gains of any JCPS high school and its state percentile ranking went from 26 to 60. Both graduation rates and college and career readiness rates saw significant improvements too.

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Education
12:21 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Kentucky Releases Data Showing College Results For 'Advance Kentucky' Students

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Students who benefit from the state’s Advanced Placement initiative—called Advance Kentucky—have larger test score gains, take fewer remedial courses in college and earn better GPAs during the first semester.

That’s the takeaway from data released by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics this week.

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Local News
1:54 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Kentucky Derby Museum Opens Archives To Public

Credit Courtesy of the Kentucky Derby Museum

Fans of the Kentucky Derby now have easier access to media and historic archives that date back to the mid-19th Century.

“There really was an impetus by our administration to really become the primary resource center for the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs,"  says curator Chris Goodlet.

There are an estimated 17,000 items archived in the Colonel Clark Library. Some of them are under high security, Goodlet says.

One of the more impressive collections came from the late Jim Bolus, who wrote for the Louisville Times and Courier Journal.

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Business
12:35 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Louisville-Lexington BEAM Program Announces $200,000 For Businesses Wanting To Export

Credit Courtesy of BEAM's Facebook page

Kentucky businesses in the Louisville-Lexington region are being encouraged to apply for grants to help them export their products internationally.

The JP Morgan Chase Foundation is providing the $200,000 grant in partnership with the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement known as BEAM, which focuses on improving business in the region between the state’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington.

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Education
6:06 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Kentucky 'Districts of Innovation' Could Challenge Standardized Testing

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Some Kentucky school districts may soon test how much wiggle room there is in the federal law that has forced them to measure student progress through standardized tests, which have been a major criticism of the nation's public education system.

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says local school districts are helping drive a larger national conversation that’s been questioning the need for standardized tests.

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Education
9:25 am
Sun December 15, 2013

WFPL Wraps Up 'Next Louisville' Education Project, Education Reporting Continues

A crowd listens to presenters at a Pecha Kucha event on public education this year.

Joe Franzen is an optimistic teacher.

“You all have heard it, JCPS is going to be the best urban school district around. And I believe it."

The crowd cheers.

Then, Franzen—who teaches at Fern Creek High School—proceeds to say how he believes this can happen, but why it's not.

Franzen presented at a Pecha Kucha event earlier this year. The theme was education. The event was one of several WFPL hosted as part of our year-long education reporting initiative called The Next Louisville. 

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Education
12:14 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Local Kentucky School Tax Revenue and Results, A Complicated Matter

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As we reported Thursday, the amount of local revenue that school districts could potentially generate by raising taxes varies widely. Some of the richer areas can raise hundreds of dollars more per student than others. Some say that's created another type of inequity in school funding over the past few years while per-pupil spending at the state level has deceased.

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Education
9:00 am
Fri December 13, 2013

News Special 1 PM Today - WFPL Reviews Public Education Stories, Challenges Over Past Year

The Next Louisville was a year-long education reporting and community participation project.

A lot can happen in a year of public education. Test scores across the district can increase. They did. The graduation rate can improve. It did.

Also, school and city leaders have pushed for more community participation, saying Jefferson County Public Schools can’t do it alone.

At the same time there are more homeless students in Jefferson County than ever before. A majority of our students are now minorities: African Americans, Hispanics and English language learners.

And every student needs something different. But they’re not all are being reached in time.

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