Politics and Education: Fostering Civil Discourse
By Jeremy Tate
Education is crucial to public debate
The Classic Learning Test has a distinctive company culture—our more than 20 full-time employees routinely engage in political discussions internally. Regardless of whether an individual supports Trump or Biden, the conversations never derail into a shouting match. As I have connected with other CEOs, I’ve found that this culture is divergent from current trends. At many companies, political discussion is often discouraged by formal internal policy. So what makes CLT different in this regard?
Despite varying political affiliations, CLT employees are passionate about their vision for education, one which is rooted in the timeless classics that gave birth to America’s Founding. Every one of the Founders was classically educated, and this element of their lives remained constant irrespective of their contrasting backgrounds and political standpoints. They were immersed in history, philosophy, religion, political theory, and classical languages. An education in the classics gave America’s Founders the ability to weigh the merits and faults of various forms of government. It allowed men like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (at times fierce political opponents) to become the best of friends. The classics set in place a common ground for civil dialogue. At CLT, our employees vote as informed citizens who love and cherish this tradition. Ultimately, the work we do at CLT is about more than a test; it is about renewing enthusiasm for the classics and fostering an education which cultivates knowledge and virtue. These things are critical not only to students’ wellbeing, but to the wellbeing of the country as well.
To gain some insight into the CLT culture that emphasizes civil dialogue and respect, listen to our first Anchored episode with guest Robert P. George. He discusses the importance of a shared intellectual heritage which has enriched his friendship with Cornel West.