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
2:50 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

JCPS Prepares to Screen Kindergarten Students

Jefferson County Public Schools is one of 107 Kentucky school districts that will use screeners this year to improve education for their youngest students.

The state adopted the BRIGANCE kindergarten screener offered by Curriculum Associates, which is being piloted this school year and planned to be implemented in all districts by the 2013-2014 year.

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Education
8:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Ky Task Force Considers How to Spread Digital Learning

A task force of Kentucky lawmakers is using the next few months to figure out how the state can improve digital learning across all classrooms in the commonwealth.

The General Assembly agreed to form the task force to review possible legislative changes that encourage using more technology in schools.

The goal now is to propose legislation that pairs up the state with successful digital education providers or programs, said task force co-chair Rep. Carl Rollins.

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Education
5:44 am
Mon August 6, 2012

PTA Holds Annual Clothing Assistance Program

Louisville’s PTA is hosting its annual back-to-school clothing blitz this week and officials say they expect a large turnout this year for the program, which serves less fortunate Jefferson County Public Schools students.

The clothing assistance program, or CAP, last year served between 1,000 to 1,500 students just during blitz week, according to CAP director Paula Wolf.

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Education
12:29 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Two Vying For JCPS District 4 Seat

Two candidates have filed to run for Jefferson County Public School’s District 4 seat, which is being vacated by Joe Hardesty, who has served on the school board since 1990.

Melissa “Missy” Smith and Lloyd “Chip” White are the latest to file for one of the district’s three seats up for grabs this fall. Steve Imhoff's District 2 seat and Larry Hujo's District 7 seat are also up for grabs this fall.

District 4 covers parts of southwest Louisville.

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Education
1:44 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Four JCPS Schools Carry AP Scores

The U.S. Department of Education will continue funding Advanced Placement tests for Kentucky’s low-income students this school year, but public schools in Jefferson County with the highest passing AP rates also have the lowest number of low-income students.

“In 2010-2011 which is the latest data I have, in Kentucky public schools there were approximately 38,000 AP exams taken," said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.

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Local News
1:19 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Churchill Downs Offers Top-Notch Guests New Venue

The library room located in the Mansion.

Churchill Downs officials have announced its $9 million renovation project to create "The Mansion" and will soon offer its preferred guests a chance to enjoy races in luxury.

This is how significant the new space will be: The Mansion is pushing the Gold Room--which serves certain VIPs--down to floor two. But, given the Gold Room is expanding as well it’s not such a bad thing.

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Education
12:58 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Jefferson County PTA Membership Down, Leaders Say Parent Engagement Crucial

While local PTA leaders have stressed the importance of parent engagement, membership in Jefferson County’s 15th District PTA has decreased the last three years.

Parent engagement has long been said to be crucial to student success, and local leaders are asking parents to step up participation.

President Cherie Dimar said in the 2009-2010 school year the 15th District PTA—which includes 141 local PTAs—had 55,521 members. The following year there were 47,287 members and last year membership was at 41,514.

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Local News
1:39 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

MSD Board Approves Rate Increase, Complying With EPA

The Metropolitan Sewer District has approved its forth consecutive 6.5 percent rate increase, adding $2.31 to customers' average monthly bill.

MSD is under a federal mandate to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act and is responsible for nearly $850 million of repairs and upgrades to its sewage system.

Spokesman Steve Tedder said the consent decree plan devised by MSD in 2008 calls for rate increases over the next several years.

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Local News
1:27 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Local Food Distributor Grasshoppers Hosts Summit

Over a dozen local food distributors from around the nation will convene in Louisville this week to discuss ways to improve the local food movement.

Louisville-based Grasshoppers Distribution will host the summit. The local food distributor recently earned the confidence and investment to grow its operations, but professionals say there's still work to do before small distributors can compete with larger stores.

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon July 30, 2012

MSD Considers 6.5 Percent Rate Hike, Again

The Metropolitan Sewer District board will consider its annual budget for the next fiscal year as well as a proposed 6.5 percent rate increase during a special session Monday.

Last week, Mayor Greg Fischer announced his support for an MSD, Louisville Water Company merger, which was recommended by a task force earlier this year. The possible savings from merger could be anywhere between $14 million to $24 million, according to an outside audit firm.

MSD director Greg Heitzman says a merger could eventually translate to cost-savings for customers and lower rate increases.

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