April 21, 2022
CRT in PWCPS
Has Critical Race Theory (CRT) Influenced Prince William County Public Schools (PWCPS)?
Watch our panelists have a “civil conversation” about this contentious topic. Two panelists ( Atif Qarni and Dr. Johri) presented what the influence of CRT has been, if any, and whether new initiatives since 2020 have positively affected the education provided by PWCPS; and two panelists (Paul Lott and Martha Cutsinger) presented how these initiatives were influenced by CRT and that they have negatively affected education in PWCPS .
Biographies and Information about Panelists & Moderator
Kate Masters, Moderator
An award-winning reporter, Kate grew up in Northern Virginia before moving to the Midwest, earning her degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. She spent a year covering gun violence and public health for The Trace in Boston before joining The Frederick News-Post in Frederick County, MD. While at the News-Post, she won first place in feature writing and breaking news from the Maryland-Delaware -DC Press Association, and Best in Show for her coverage of the local opioid epidemic. Before joining the Mercury in 2020, she covered state and county politics for the Bethesda Beat in Montgomery County, MD.
Dr. Arvinder Johri - Panelist
Arvinder Kaur Johri is the English department chair at Independence Nontraditional School with the Prince William County Schools. She currently teaches English 11 and 12. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience; she received the Regional Teacher of the Year Award from the Archdiocese of Washington in 2005 and the 2015 Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award in recognition of her exemplary instructional practices. She has earned her master’s degree in English from Delhi University, India, and her second postgraduate degree from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. In 2011, she went on to complete her Ph.D. in literacy at George Mason University where she was an adjunct instructor of English education and literacy for 10 years. She is currently the co-chair of the PWEA Social Justice Committee whose mission is to uphold the voices and experiences of educators and students of color and to ensure that their experiences are grounded within the framework of equity and justice. Co-author of the Teaching Beyond the Standards; 18 Ideas with Work Options for Teachers, K-12 and a frequent presenter at state and national conferences, she continues to pursue her passion for writing and teaching poetry.
Martha Cutsinger - Panelist
A Haymarket Business Owner, I have lived in Prince William County for over 25 years. While raising our children here, I became very involved volunteering in their schools, classrooms and after-school activities, including PTO duties and eventually substituting.
My interest in this subject is born out of deep concern for the future of education and the country.
Paul K. Lott, Sr. - Panelist
Paul Lott is the Founder of the National Society for the Advancement of Black Americans (NSABA.org ), an organization formed in the aftermath of the George Floyd riots as a needed counter balance to the false racial narrative being pushed in American today. The NSABA focuses on data and evidence-based solutions to issues of race and poverty. Mr. Lott is an alumni of Harvard College, a U.S. Army veteran, father, author, and long time education activist.
Atif Qarni - Panelist,
replacing Loree Williams
Atif M. Qarni is the Managing Director of External Affairs at The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice [at Temple University]. Before joining The Hope Center, Atif Qarni served for four years as Virginia’s Secretary of Education, championing PK-12 and higher education reforms.
During the pandemic, Atif led the COVID-19 Education Response and Recovery Task Force for the PK-20 education continuum to develop recommendations for long-term recovery plans.
Prior to his appointment as Virginia’s Secretary of Education, Atif taught at Beville Middle School in Prince William County for 10 years. During his tenure as a public-school teacher, Atif also served as a GED Night School Instructor.
In addition to his work as an educator, Atif is a veteran. He was a Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
For more info: https://hope4college.com/atif-qarni-extended/