History Podcasts

Jill Biden - Profession, Education and Joe Biden

Jill Biden - Profession, Education and Joe Biden

Dr. president and former vice president, Joe Biden. From 2009-17, as second lady of the United States, she advocated for greater support of military families and breast cancer research, among other issues, while working as a professor of English and writing at Northern Virginia Community College.

Early Life & Marriage to Joe Biden

Born Jill Jacobs in 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey, she grew up as the oldest of five sisters in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. At 18, after briefly studying fashion merchandising at a junior college in Pennsylvania, she married Bill Stevenson. The two began attending the University of Delaware together, but divorced a few years later. Jill briefly left college, but later returned to earn her bachelor’s degree in English in 1975.

That same year, she was introduced to Joe Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, by Joe Biden’s younger brother, Frank. Nine years Jill’s senior, Joe Biden had lost his first wife, Neilia, and his one-year-old daughter, Naomi, in a car accident in 1972, shortly after he was elected to the Senate for the first time. His two sons, Hunter and Beau, were injured in the same accident but survived.

Joe famously proposed five times to Jill before she accepted. In June 1977, they were married at the United Nations chapel in New York City. Jill helped raise Hunter and Beau, as well as their daughter, Ashley, born in 1981.

Teaching Career

Jill Biden earned two master’s degrees, in education (with a specialty in reading) from West Chester University in 1981 and in English from Villanova University in 1987, while teaching adolescents at a psychiatric hospital. She later taught for years at Claymont High School, Brandywine High School and Delaware Technical and Community College.

Biden returned to the University of Delaware to pursue her doctorate in education, which she earned in 2007. Meanwhile, her husband was re-elected to the Senate five times, and ran unsuccessfully for president twice, in 1988 and 2008, before Barack Obama, the eventual Democratic nominee in 2008, chose him as his running mate.

Jill Biden as Second Lady

After Obama and Joe Biden were inaugurated in 2009, Jill Biden began working as a professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). According to the Los Angeles Times, she was believed to be the first second lady ever to hold a paying job while her husband was in office. Known to her students simply as “Dr. B,” she was known to grade papers during various state trips abroad.

Over the next eight years, Jill Biden collaborated with first lady Michelle Obama on the Joining Forces initiative, aimed at supporting military families. In 2012, she published a children’s book, Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops, based on the impact of her stepson Beau’s deployment in Iraq on his wife and young children. She also advocated for education and the value of community colleges, hosting the first White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama in 2010 and traveling the country for a Community College to Career bus tour in 2012. As co-founder of the Biden Breast Health Initiative, she continued to voice her support for breast cancer research and early detection.

Road Back to the White House

The Biden family sustained a tragic loss in May 2015, when Beau Biden, an Iraq War veteran and former attorney general of Delaware, died of brain cancer at the age of 46. Despite speculation that Joe Biden would run for president again at the end of Obama’s second term, he ultimately decided against it. Jill Biden continued working full time as a professor at NOVA, and in 2019 published a memoir, Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself.

During Joe Biden’s campaign to defeat the incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, Jill Biden played a more visible role than in her husband’s previous presidential runs. She served as one of his most active campaign surrogates, reached out to lawmakers to discuss immigration reform on his behalf, and helped him select Kamala Harris as his historic running mate. A couple of times, she even acted as his unofficial bodyguard, memorably helping to ward off protesters who interrupted his speeches.

At the Democratic National Convention, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jill Biden underlined her lifelong passion for education by speaking from her former classroom at Brandywine High School. Before the election, she said she hopes to continue teaching after her husband takes office as the 46th president. “It's important,” she told CBS News. “I want people to value teachers and know their contributions, and lift up the profession.”

Sources

Dr. Jill Biden. Obama White House.

“Jill Biden is finally ready to be first lady. Can she help her husband defeat Trump?” Washington Post, August 17, 2020.

“Dr. Jill Biden on family, teaching, loss and levity.” CBS News, August 9, 2020.

“Hi, I’m Jill. But please, call me Dr. Biden.” Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2009.

“Jill Biden: All the Vice President’s Women.” Vogue, November 2008.


What Is Wrong With Jill Biden?

By Joan Swirsky

If this title rings a bell, it’s because it’s so similar to the title of an article I wrote exactly a year ago this month, when presidential candidate Joe Biden––visibly compromised by clear signs of cognitive failure if not downright dementia––was being sequestered in his dimly-lit basement, surrounded by leftist toadies cranking out his occasional telepromptered statements, and guarded by wife Jill, who never failed to answer questions posed to him, finish his sentences, or whisk him away from the cameras.

A STARK CONTRAST

In that article, I mentioned that my husband Steve had recently had a bad cold and that I had plied him with tea and honey and chicken soup (aka Jewish penicillin), and even insisted he try a folk remedy I was told was very effective and proved to be––smearing Vicks VapoRub on the bottoms of his feet (with socks over them) at nighttime, the better to wake up with clear nasal passages and lungs.

This is exactly what takes place millions of times a day not only across the United States but the entire world––women taking care of their husbands or partners, doing everything possible to protect them from harm or hurt.

INITIALLY GIVING JILL THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

No doubt, that was Jill Biden’s intention when she married the senator from Delaware in 1977, and raised not only the daughter they had together, but his young sons, Beau and Hunter, after the senator’s first wife and baby daughter were killed in a horrific car accident in 1972.

As the years elapsed, Senator Biden became Vice President Biden––for eight years––and the power couple Jill and Joe gained worldwide fame and huge wealth.

But before that, Jill juggled raising their three children with earning a doctoral degree in education and then teaching for years in a psychiatric hospital where her students were emotionally disturbed children and adolescents.

Surely, in both her education and clinical work, she was aware of, sensitive to, knowledgeable about––and protective of––the students whose limitations rendered them incapable of higher function. Surely she became capable of detecting, even diagnosing, thought and speech disorders, dissociative thinking, and incoherent ramblings.

The following examples during Joe Biden’s campaign were sad to witness and raised the very serious question: What is wrong with Jill Biden?

That was then. But as with all deteriorating conditions, things have now gotten worse. Right up to––and beyond––the election on November 3, 2020, ole Joe:

  • Told an audience he was running for the Senate.
  • Asked, during a speech, “What am I doing here?”
  • Referred to Doug Emhoff as “Kamala [Harris’s] wife.”
  • Called the Wuhan virus the ‘Luhan virus’ and Covid-19 Covid-9.
  • Said that 200 million Americans died of COVID-19 ––approximately two-thirds of our country’s population.
  • And just the other day, referred to Kamala Harris as President Harris.

WHERE DID THAT INSIGHT GO?

Why has Jill’s understanding, empathy, take-charge persona been missing in action when it came to protecting her clearly diminished husband from the slings and arrows of a brutal presidential contest? If Joe and Jill Biden were sitting in the office of any neurologist in America, the doctor would immediately put the candidate and now putative president on medication to alleviate his florid symptoms. (Actually, I suspect that has already been done for well over a year now, if not longer).

THE RELIGIOUS CARD

The Biden’s claim they are practicing Catholics. Jill certainly must have taken her wedding vows seriously: “I, Jill Stevenson, take thee, Joseph Biden, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…”

/>The cherish pledge is believable, but what happened to the “in sickness and in health” vow? Did Jill Biden really believe that it meant to “support” her clinically compromised husband in continuing the painful process of slogging it out till the November election by propping him up, ignoring the increasingly glazed and vacant look in his eyes, and witnessing his slow devolution?

Did she believe her role was to plaster on a perpetual Cheshire Cat smile before a media that collaborated with her in the “everything is great” deception, rescuing her husband when appropriate behavior failed him, and pretending that his disjointed, confused, indeed bizarre utterances somehow, magically, made sense?

Before the election and to this very day, every Joe Biden appearance has been the Emperor’s New Clothes, with the entire Democrat establishment––including CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, the NY Times, the Washington Post, et al––going along with this pitiful charade, while ignoring the fact that the American people they hold in such contempt have eyes and ears!

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON?

Jill Biden is now 69 and she and Joe are the very wealthy owners of several lavish homes and, as we know, many other sources of affluence.

By appearances, I’m guessing that Jill is also quite healthy. That is why it stretches the imagination that either she or her 78-year-old husband––who has now clearly entered the doddering stage––really wanted to spend the next four years of their lives glad-handing foreign potentates, fielding the conflicting and contentious demands of the American electorate, or generally weathering the unforgiving spotlight aimed relentlessly at the highest office in the land.

Now that the Bidens are, for the most part, secluded, isolated, essentially quarantined in the White House behind barbed-wire fencing and a preposterous military presence, the occasional sighting of Mr. Biden––like his peculiarly bug-eyed, robotic speech the other night––shows a joyless, expressionless, programmed chief executive whose only function seems to be staying vertical long enough to actualize Barack Obama’s radical agenda. The over-40 Executive Orders he has signed since the inauguration on January 20 th were clearly prepared by Obama’s functionaries, most of whom have been appointed to positions of power in the Biden White House, State Department, et al.

Speaking of which, I believe that Joe Biden was selected as Barack Obama’s VP because of the inherent malleability and weakness he has displayed in nearly 50 years on the public stage. The powers-that-be who orchestrated his “election” had no doubt that they could plant any idea, policy, pet project, or corrupt scheme in Joe’s ear and trust that he would follow through unquestioningly. This trust, of course, was based on Joe’s long history of echoing––actually stealing––the words of other people described in a damning series of plagiarism scandals, as well as carrying out, in his own words, menacing threats leveled to the powers-that-be in Ukraine that resulted in the result he and Obama wanted.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR JILL?

I suspect that the powers-that-be, among them brainiacs like David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, and especially George Soros––who appears through his massive contributions to own the Democrat Party, the Democratic National Committee, most if not all Democrat fund-raising committees, and the leftist media––got together and decided to back Joe Biden because they knew with absolute surety they could control him once in office.

And during the campaign, when it became clear to them––as it did to the rest of America and to the world––that a faltering Joe Biden would be lucky to make it over the finish line,they simply whispered in Jill’s ear:

  • Stay in the game.
  • We’ve rigged the election with mail-in voting––and the help of China––so it will work this time.
  • We’ll take care of the judiciary––right up to the Supreme Court––so Joe (and you) are not indicted for the two massive money laundering and bribery schemes he pulled off in the Ukraine, and the other scam that helped Joe, his brother, his son Hunter, Obama and so many of his cronies make billions off China trade deals and regulatory policies, on and on.
  • We’ll run the country just as we did for Obama, this time with Susan Rice or some other functionary we choose at the helm.
  • Just smile and fake it till you make it to November!

Joe may never have heard these tacit threats, but if my theory is correct, you can bet that Jill heard them loud and clear and “got” the message 100%!

THE KAMALA FACTOR

That message must have nursemaid Jill running scared and contemplating with horror handing over her authority and power to a woman only a handful of people ever heard of until last year.

Whoever is running the Joe Biden show behind the scenes, it is clear that he or she or they had a hand in manipulating the first African-American woman, Kamala Harris, into the Vice Presidency-cum-Presidency of the United States of America. She whose mother is a native of India and her father Jamaican and a Marxist economics professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA––neither of them descended from Africa!

But no matter. To Democrats, who are preoccupied with race, gender and the lifelong-victim card, narrative is all––qualifications not so much.

But… mmm… now that we know of the close professional ties of Kamala’s husband to the Chinese Communist Party, maybe it wasn’t the color-gender thing that got her chosen for the VP position at all.And maybe it isn’t Obama, who most people surmise is running the show, who orchestrated this fiasco.

After reading this stunning article by esteemed author and journalist Jack Cashill, I have to agree that it is not Obama who is pulling the strings of the Biden regime.

“Although clearly immersed in leftism since childhood, even Marxism,” Cashill writes, “[Obama] never left the shallow end of the pool. As president, he proved so adept at breaking promises because he did not care deeply enough to ensure those promises were realized. What mattered more was that he be seen striking the right pose, finding the right groove, spinning the right narrative.Obama is not a serious man. Never was.”

/>Cashill doesn’t offer a theory of who is running the show, but my guess is that Susan Rice, Obama’s Ambassador to the U.N. and U.S. National Security Advisor, is in the running––she who is worthy of an Oscar for her spectacular talent in embodying none of the qualities of sincerity, forthrightness and integrity!

WHAT ARE WE REALLY LOOKING AT?

We’re looking at “open Marxists on the verge of a complete takeover of the Democratic Party, writes Cliff Kincaid, journalist, author and director of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Accuracy in Media.

“Bolshevik Bernie Sanders,” Kincaid continues, “the lone Senate member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is poised to take over the Democratic Party, after his supporters and sympathizers engineer the ouster of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Joe Biden.”

Kincaid says that “The Congressional Progressive Caucus, a Marxist-oriented group close to The Democratic Socialists of America…includes nearly 100 members of the Democratic Party in Congress. This group is driving the Marxist agenda of Biden/Harris. It claims 234 chapters around the country, one chapter in Washington, D.C., perhaps a future state, and it grew by 500 percent in one year.”

If things go their way, they will implant their own socialist-Communist-Marxist candidates of choice through their typically honest elections, and by so doing take huge leaps toward their goal of “fundamentally transforming” America into the kind of totalitarian state they so admire. With the help, of course––already rendered––of Big Tech, the leftist media whores, academia, the [lack of] entertainment industry, the courts, et al.

But how could this be? In my decades of observing the behavior of all of the above species, it is clear that the list of those who can be bribed and threatened is endless!

Where does all this leave Jill? Certainly in a less secure place in history than Edith Wilson, whose husband Woodrow was POTUS from 1915 to 1921. Interestingly, like Jill Biden, Edith was the president’s second wife. Yet more interesting is that she literally ran the county after her husband’s stroke in 1919, whereas at this point Jill seems busy running interference for her hapless, devolving husband.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?

Conservatives like me have two things in common. The first is that we look at the Big Picture, meaning a broad historical perspective. Today, there are between 75-million to eighty-million people who voted for Donald Trump and know American history––unlike today’s “woke” generation––and appreciate that we have been through bigger battles and prevailed.

Americans with grit, courage, and love for our country have been through the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, an epic Civil Rights revolution, September 11 th , 2001, and eight years of Obama treachery––and emerged victorious!

Yes, there are problems to solve, all of which emanate from the de facto assisted-living facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

  • An open southern border which has been breached by hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in drug cartels and others who have tested positive for Covid-19,
  • The shutdown of the Keystone Pipeline, leading to the loss of thousands of jobs.
  • The suppression of an investigation into the highly suspicious if not rigged 2020 presidential vote,
  • The imposition of more Draconian restrictions to stem the colossal hoax of global warming,
  • “Experts” looking at novel ways to deprive America’s children of yet another year of normal life and school attendance,
  • The resurrection of the deadly nuclear deal with the arch terrorist state in the world, Iran,
  • The attempt to rig all future elections in the U.S. to gain Democrat victories,
  • The resistance to holding Anthony Fauci accountable for the countless wrong calls he has made over the past year,
  • The refusal to indict (and imprison) the thugs, criminals and anarchists from Antifa and Black Lives Matter for their year-long crime spree, on and on.

Inducting Jill Biden into a National Hall of Shame for the elder abuse of her failing husband may seem to pale in light of the above problems, but there are prison cells all over our country holding those convicted of this crime. What she is doing is cruel and inhuman, plain and simple.

The second thing conservatives like me have in common is an indomitable sense of optimism, which is why we are so confident not only that these problems will be solved but that conservatism itself will return to our country with a mighty roar.


A Professor and First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden Could Make Education Prestigious Again

“Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo,” begins writer Joseph Epstein’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed calling on First Lady-elect Dr. Jill Biden to stop referring to herself as a doctor. The article itself is so demeaning, ludicrous and poorly written — its thesis is, “Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc” — that it hardly even warrants a direct rebuttal. Yet its publication highlights a deeper decades-old problem in American culture: the extent to which we undervalue teachers and its ruinous effects on educational quality.

Epstein predicates his argument, that Biden’s possession of a doctorate in education establishes her as inferior to those with doctorates in medicine and other fields, on his perception that teaching is an “unpromising” career. He is neither correct nor alone in that belief, and the American educational system continues to suffer as a result. Rather than allow the right to unjustly denigrate her educational training and pride therein, Biden should lead the charge against the low prestige of the teaching profession while in office. In doing so, she could improve the lives of both American teachers and the pupils for whom they are responsible.

For nearly the first two centuries of U.S. history, first ladies’ duties were almost exclusively ceremonial . With the exception of First Lady Edith Wilson, who essentially ran the executive branch after then-President Woodrow Wilson’s stroke, their responsibilities were limited to hosting guests, decorating the White House and planning events. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt changed all that. She gave lectures, wrote a daily newspaper column and traversed the U.S. while in office, and following President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, she spearheaded the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Since her tenure, nearly every first lady has championed a cause: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis supported the arts, Hillary Clinton fought for greater access to health care and Michelle Obama worked to reduce childhood obesity. Precedent, then, suggests Biden will likely follow suit.

If and when she does choose a cause, she is uniquely positioned to pick education. Biden is the first presidential spouse to ever hold a doctorate in education, a degree for which she conducted original research. As an experienced, highly qualified educator with decades of experience as a politician’s spouse, she has both the topical expertise and policy exposure necessary to work within the system to revolutionize American education. Contrary to Epstein’s misguided opinion, Biden deserves significant respect as an academic and as a person.

Biden has clarified that she will keep her job as a community college professor, which would make her the only first lady to ever work outside the White House while in office. This is admirable in and of itself — no woman’s professional life should be subordinate to that of their spouse, and teaching while acting as first lady would demonstrate that to the American people. Moreover, it would also help her use her other qualifications to become an extraordinary policy entrepreneur , or a public leader who promotes proposals and shepherds them through the policymaking process. Since a huge variety of interest groups, unions, associations and other organizations dominate education policymaking, the process is often pluralist and therefore very susceptible to policy entrepreneurs’ influence. Long story short, Biden’s unique professional situation and education policy’s pluralist bent could help her effect significant change.

Dr. Jill Biden speaks at the Center for American Progress. (Center for American Progress/Creative Commons)

Biden’s background as an educator also predisposes her to use those advantages to great effect. Having suffered baseless disrespect from Epstein and Fox News host Tucker Carlson for her career choice, she should use that experience to push for improvements to one of the greatest inadequacies in U.S. education: the low prestige of public school teaching. In the U.S., college students rank teaching among the most unattractive professions in the world, and most teachers are trained in schools with low academic standards. We have a shortage of high-quality teachers because we can neither convince high-quality students to take those jobs nor train them well when they decide to do so, and student outcomes suffer as a result.

In other countries, public school teaching is extremely prestigious, and it shows. In Finland, for instance, college students admire teaching more than law or medicine. Finnish teaching colleges’ acceptance rates hover around 10%, require all students to conduct research and are generally very rigorous. That fierce competition means that only the best of the best can become teachers in Finland, and the qualified few who succeed are trained extraordinarily well. Given teacher quality’s outsize effect on student performance, the fact that Finnish students consistently top international rankings of academic performance — and trounce their American peers — is no surprise. To improve students’ educational outcomes and teachers’ quality of life, the U.S. needs to follow the Finnish example. Biden could and should lead that charge.

Specifically, she should work with her husband, the Education Department and the various interest groups involved to improve teaching’s prestige by changing the way we train teachers. First, Biden should push those policymakers to phase in a nationwide requirement that all newly accredited public school teachers hold at least a master’s degree in education or the field in which they hope to teach. Not only would this disincentivize teachers to leave poorer states, but it could also help elevate the prestige of teaching to the level of engineering, law and executive management.

Moreover, her experience conducting research work for her doctorate in education should help her advocate for the other key component of increasing the prestige of teaching: improving the quality and rigor of teacher training. This could mean subsidizing Master of Education programs on the condition that they exclusively offer three-year degrees and require students to write dissertations, or mandating that they do both before renewing their accreditation. Precedent in Finland and elsewhere suggests this would both attract more qualified people to the profession and train them more effectively.

As a professor with three graduate degrees and a generally remarkable human being, Biden deserves to spend her time teaching students and reforming this country for the better, not dictating the White House’s holiday aesthetic. Biden is an autonomous person with the right to lead her own life exactly as she sees fit, but she’s more than up to this challenge, and American teachers and students alike need her to take it.

It will be a challenge, though, and Congress should pay her accordingly. No first lady has ever received a cent from the government for their work, despite their enormous workload and significant impact. If President Donald Trump was offered $1.6 million over four years to shred American democracy, Biden deserves to be paid for putting what remains of it to good use.

So share Epstein’s article with your friends and family to expose his attacks for the demeaning vitriol that they are. Call on Biden to take action, pressure your elected officials to work with her and donate to public education groups. Ask yourself whether you’re biased against teaching and why. And seriously, if you’re in college right now, think about becoming a teacher. You could do a lot of good.


Joe Biden

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Joe Biden, byname of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., (born November 20, 1942, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.), 46th president of the United States (2021– ) and 47th vice president of the United States (2009–17) in the Democratic administration of Pres. Barack Obama. He previously represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate (1973–2009).


Jill Biden was born as Jill Tracy Jacobs on the 3rd of June 1951 in Hammonton, New Jersey. She is of Mixed (British-Germanic-Spanish-Irish) ethnicity.

Source: NBCNews (Jill Biden with her husband Joe Biden)

Her father, Late. Donald C. Jacobs was a bank teller by profession. Later, she became the head of the Saving & Loan Association for Chestnut Hills. Her mother, Late. Bonny Jean was a homemaker.

She spent her major part of her childhood in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. However, she has spent most childhood traveling along with her four younger sisters.


She has multiple master's degrees

Following the birth of her daughter Ashley Biden in 1981, Jill earned two master's degrees from Villanova University and West Chester University, as well as her doctorate at the University of Delaware.

She was the first Second Lady to work full-time during her husband's Vice Presidency

As a passionate teacher, Jill was working at Northern Virginia Community College when Joe was sworn in as Vice President to Barack Obama in 2008.

Business Insider said she was the first Second Lady to "work full-time while also serving alongside her husband" during his two terms.


Jill Biden and the Doctoring of Doctoral Degrees for Nondoctors

“I’m hoping Dr. Jill becomes the surgeon general, his wife. Joe Biden’s wife. She would never do it, but, yeah, she’s a hell of a doctor. She’s an amazing doctor,” proclaimed actress and co-host of The View Whoopi Goldberg last March.

After someone alerted Whoopi to the fact that “Dr. Jill” has a doctor of education (EdD) degree from the University of Delaware and not a medical degree, Goldberg apologized. “I was wrong about his wife. I was wrong, before you start texting and emailing,” she said.

Starting with Goldberg’s slip-up in March and ending with Joseph Epstein’s Wall Street Journal op-ed asking Biden to “drop the doc” in December, Jill Biden’s ubiquitous presence on the national stage during the 2020 presidential election revived long-standing debates about the use of the “Dr.” honorific and the academic degrees that underlie it.

What does the honorific mean in an era of mass credentialing and low academic standards?

In a syrupy profile published in the spring 2007 issue of Wilmington, Delaware lifestyle magazine Brandywine Signature, Jill Biden recounts her delight after returning home from defending her dissertation and finding two signs in the yard waiting for her: “Congratulations Dr. Jacobs-Biden” and “Dr. and Senator Biden Live Here.”

Everywhere the Bidens traveled, the titles went with them. Presumably, Senator Biden’s team considered Dr. Jill’s honorific to be so politically expedient that it became a prominent feature of every one of his campaigns, starting with his unsuccessful attempt to obtain the Democratic nomination for president in 2008. Until recently, only one writer dared to question their comically excessive use of the title.

In early 2009, Los Angeles Times opinion columnist Robin Abcarian noticed that campaign news releases and subsequent White House announcements persistently referred to her as “Dr. Jill Biden.” She asked fellow journalists and academics to weigh in.

Responses ranged from dismissive to disapproval. Abcarian wrote that Joel Goldstein, a professor at St. Louis University School of Law, appeared to be “mildly amused upon hearing that Biden liked to be called Dr.” Time magazine writer Amy Sullivan opined, “Ordinarily, when someone goes by doctor and they are a PhD, not an MD, I find it a little bit obnoxious.” Washington Post desk chief Bill Walsh observed that “if you can’t heal the sick, we don’t call you doctor.”

Despite the criticism, the Biden camp continued to use the title with impunity. Many media outlets dutifully complied, even as the AP Stylebook established the reasonable standard of mandating the use of “Dr.” only for individuals who possessed a degree in medicine, dentistry, optometry, or veterinary medicine.

Those sentiments were acceptable in 2009, but are no longer tolerated in 2021. Epstein’s essay provoked an avalanche of condemnation from every corner of the internet.

Mostly left-of-center writers lined up to accuse Epstein of sexism and other human rights abuses, while Northwestern University erased all mention of Epstein, who had taught at the institution years ago, on its website and affirmed its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The criticism missed the point of Epstein’s essay. The honorific is not the issue. The lowly state of doctoral education in America is.

The creation of the doctor of education, or EdD degree, came at the intersection of three critical developments in the history of American higher education. In the 19th century, American colleges, institutes, and universities began to develop formal teacher training programs that combined instruction in pedagogy with the emerging field of psychology.

At the same time, colleges and universities created advanced degree programs for professions like law and medicine. Finally, institutions of higher education began to adopt the research university model introduced to the United States with the founding of Johns Hopkins University in 1876.

The result was the creation of doctoral programs in education designed to legitimize education as a scientific, professional, and independent field of study. Amusingly, the field itself hadn’t developed a meaningful body of knowledge by the time the Teacher’s College at Columbia University launched the first doctor of philosophy program in education in 1893. (Some would argue that it still hasn’t).

Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education founded the first doctor of education program in 1920. Fourteen years later, Teacher’s College would add a doctor of education degree program of their own. Today, most large research universities offer both degrees.

Harvard’s Graduate School of Education created the EdD as a way to separate it from the PhD awarded in the School of Arts and Sciences. That decision appeared to satisfy both academics in Arts and Sciences who questioned the legitimacy of the field and ambitious leaders of the Graduate School of Education who sought to establish its independence.

Most EdD degrees can be completed part-time with no coursework beyond the often substandard offerings from the school of education.

In practice, the EdD focused on professional training for educators and administrators rather than a research-focused enterprise. As Frank Freeman concluded in his 1931 book, Practices Of American Universities In Granting Higher Degrees In Education: A Series Of Official Statements, the doctor of education degree appeared to be designed to “organize existing knowledge instead of discovering new truths.”

My alma mater, the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development, echoes Freeman’s distinction between the PhD and EdD.

According to the description of the institution’s doctoral programs, the doctor of philosophy program “develops academic scholars who develop a line of research in conjunction with a mentor and often within a disciplinary setting.” The doctor of education “is a professional degree designed to support practitioner-scholars in their pursuit of identifying, studying, and solving problems of practice in a work setting.” As such, doctor of education candidates often select convenient samples, such as their workplace, to conduct research for their dissertation or capstone project.

Although credit hour requirements are similar between the two doctorates, coursework, residency, and dissertation requirements vary by program. For example, my PhD program requirements included three academic years of full-time graduate work, completing multiple courses in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the successful defense of a doctoral dissertation.

Most EdD degrees can be completed part-time with no coursework beyond the often substandard offerings from the school of education. Some doctor of education degree candidates may complete a capstone project in lieu of a dissertation. Jill Biden’s 120-page dissertation, “Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs,” is a capstone project masquerading as a dissertation. As one commentator wrote, it “shimmers with the wan, term-papery feel of middle school.”

Moreover, doctor of education programs and prospective school district administrators enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. Teachers and junior-level administrators looking for higher-paying administrative positions in the school district hierarchy provide a steady source of dollars to EdD programs.

Because wages for public school employees are based partly on credentials, taxpayers subsidize the automatic salary increases awarded to those who earn the doctoral degree. Taxpayers also support the schools of education offering the degree and grant programs that support those enrolled in the program. I have yet to encounter compelling evidence confirming that dollars-for-doctorates produces meaningful benefits for students.

Almost since the inception of doctoral programs in education, there have been numerous reform proposals. On the one hand, Geraldine Clifford and James Guthrie proposed eliminating the PhD in education and preserving the EdD as a way to refocus education schools on teacher training.

A decade later, Thomas Deering called for eliminating the EdD and preserving the PhD to avoid confusion between the two terminal degrees. Then-president of Columbia University’s Teachers College, Arthur Levine, recommended transforming the EdD into a master’s degree similar to an MBA.

In the short term, eliminating the doctor of education degree and reestablishing ties with graduate programs outside of the education school is the best option.

In 2014, the Harvard Graduate School of Education announced that it had transitioned from the EdD to the PhD. Harvard leaders declared that the justification for eliminating the EdD was to “better signal the research emphasis that has characterized the program since its inception in 1921” and to “strengthen ties with academic departments across Harvard University.” I think Harvard has the right idea.

An interdisciplinary approach similar to the one employed by my PhD program at the University of Virginia would be one way to raise the quality of doctoral studies in education.

As for me, I don’t care if people call me “Dr.” But the Jill Biden episode has revealed a world of new possibilities. Shortly after the publication of Epstein’s op-ed, etiquette expert Steven Petrow implored Americans to “start calling people as they wish.”

Fine. Call me Grand Master Jedi Terry Stoops and use “Dr.” for those who can heal the sick.

Terry Stoops is the Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation.


What Is Wrong With Jill Biden?

(Mar. 19, 2021) — If this title rings a bell, it’s because it’s so similar to the title of an article I wrote exactly a year ago this month, when presidential candidate Joe Biden––visibly compromised by clear signs of cognitive failure if not downright dementia––was being sequestered in his dimly-lit basement, surrounded by leftist toadies cranking out his occasional telepromptered statements, and guarded by wife Jill, who never failed to answer questions posed to him, finish his sentences, or whisk him away from the cameras.

A STARK CONTRAST

In that article, I mentioned that my husband Steve had recently had a bad cold and that I had plied him with tea and honey and chicken soup (aka Jewish penicillin), and even insisted he try a folk remedy I was told was very effective and proved to be––smearing Vicks VapoRub on the bottoms of his feet (with socks over them) at nighttime, the better to wake up with clear nasal passages and lungs.

This is exactly what takes place millions of times a day not only across the United States but the entire world––women taking care of their husbands or partners, doing everything possible to protect them from harm or hurt.

INITIALLY GIVING JILL THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

No doubt, that was Jill Biden’s intention when she married the senator from Delaware in 1977, and raised not only the daughter they had together, but his young sons, Beau and Hunter, after the senator’s first wife and baby daughter were killed in a horrific car accident in 1972.

As the years elapsed, Senator Biden became Vice President Biden––for eight years––and the power couple Jill and Joe gained worldwide fame and huge wealth.

But before that, Jill juggled raising their three children with earning a doctoral degree in education and then teaching for years in a psychiatric hospital where her students were emotionally disturbed children and adolescents.

Surely, in both her education and clinical work, she was aware of, sensitive to, knowledgeable about––and protective of––the students whose limitations rendered them incapable of higher function. Surely she became capable of detecting, even diagnosing, thought and speech disorders, dissociative thinking, and incoherent ramblings.

The following examples during Joe Biden’s campaign were sad to witness and raised the very serious question: What is wrong with Jill Biden?

That was then. But as with all deteriorating conditions, things have now gotten worse. Right up to––and beyond––the election on November 3, 2020, ole Joe:

  • Told an audience he was running for the Senate.
  • Asked, during a speech, “What am I doing here?”
  • Referred to Doug Emhoff as “Kamala [Harris’s] wife.”
  • Called the Wuhan virus the ‘Luhan virus’ and Covid-19 Covid-9.
  • Said that 200 million Americans died of COVID-19 ––approximately two-thirds of our country’s population.
  • And just the other day, referred to Kamala Harris as President Harris.

WHERE DID THAT INSIGHT GO?

Why has Jill’s understanding, empathy, take-charge persona been missing in action when it came to protecting her clearly diminished husband from the slings and arrows of a brutal presidential contest? If Joe and Jill Biden were sitting in the office of any neurologist in America, the doctor would immediately put the candidate and now putative president on medication to alleviate his florid symptoms. (Actually, I suspect that has already been done for well over a year now, if not longer).

THE RELIGIOUS CARD

The Bidens claim they are practicing Catholics. Jill certainly must have taken her wedding vows seriously: “I, Jill Stevenson, take thee, Joseph Biden, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…”

The cherish pledge is believable, but what happened to the “in sickness and in health” vow? Did Jill Biden really believe that it meant to “support” her clinically compromised husband in continuing the painful process of slogging it out till the November election by propping him up, ignoring the increasingly glazed and vacant look in his eyes, and witnessing his slow devolution?

Did she believe her role was to plaster on a perpetual Cheshire Cat smile before a media that collaborated with her in the “everything is great” deception, rescuing her husband when appropriate behavior failed him, and pretending that his disjointed, confused, indeed bizarre utterances somehow, magically, made sense?

Before the election and to this very day, every Joe Biden appearance has been the Emperor’s New Clothes, with the entire Democrat establishment––including CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, the NY Times, the Washington Post, et al––going along with this pitiful charade, while ignoring the fact that the American people they hold in such contempt have eyes and ears!

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON?

Jill Biden is now 69 and she and Joe are the very wealthy owners of several lavish homes and, as we know, many other sources of affluence.

By appearances, I’m guessing that Jill is also quite healthy. That is why it stretches the imagination that either she or her 78-year-old husband––who has now clearly entered the doddering stage––really wanted to spend the next four years of their lives glad-handing foreign potentates, fielding the conflicting and contentious demands of the American electorate, or generally weathering the unforgiving spotlight aimed relentlessly at the highest office in the land.

Now that the Bidens are, for the most part, secluded, isolated, essentially quarantined in the White House behind barbed-wire fencing and a preposterous military presence, the occasional sighting of Mr. Biden––like his peculiarly bug-eyed, robotic speech the other night––shows a joyless, expressionless, programmed chief executive whose only function seems to be staying vertical long enough to actualize Barack Obama’s radical agenda. The over-40 Executive Orders he has signed since the inauguration on January 20 th were clearly prepared by Obama’s functionaries, most of whom have been appointed to positions of power in the Biden White House, State Department, et al.

Speaking of which, I believe that Joe Biden was selected as Barack Obama’s VP because of the inherent malleability and weakness he has displayed in nearly 50 years on the public stage. The powers-that-be who orchestrated his “election” had no doubt that they could plant any idea, policy, pet project, or corrupt scheme in Joe’s ear and trust that he would follow through unquestioningly. This trust, of course, was based on Joe’s long history of echoing––actually stealing––the words of other people described in a damning series of plagiarism scandals, as well as carrying out, in his own words, menacing threats leveled to the powers-that-be in Ukraine that resulted in the outcome he and Obama wanted.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR JILL?

I suspect that the powers-that-be, among them brainiacs like David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, and especially George Soros––who appears through his massive contributions to own the Democrat Party, the Democratic National Committee, most if not all Democrat fund-raising committees, and the leftist media––got together and decided to back Joe Biden because they knew with absolute surety they could control him once in office.

And during the campaign, when it became clear to them––as it did to the rest of America and to the world––that a faltering Joe Biden would be lucky to make it over the finish line, they simply whispered in Jill’s ear:

  • Stay in the game.
  • We’ve rigged the election with mail-in voting––and the help of China––so it will work this time.
  • We’ll take care of the judiciary––right up to the Supreme Court––so Joe (and you) are not indicted for the two massive money laundering and bribery schemes he pulled off in the Ukraine, and the other scam that helped Joe, his brother, his son Hunter, Obama and so many of his cronies make billions off China trade deals and regulatory policies, on and on.
  • We’ll run the country just as we did for Obama, this time with Susan Rice or some other functionary we choose at the helm.
  • Just smile and fake it till you make it to November!

Joe may never have heard these tacit threats, but if my theory is correct, you can bet that Jill heard them loud and clear and “got” the message 100%!

THE KAMALA FACTOR

That message must have nursemaid Jill running scared and contemplating with horror handing over her authority and power to a woman only a handful of people ever heard of until last year.

Whoever is running the Joe Biden show behind the scenes, it is clear that he or she or they had a hand in manipulating the first African-American woman, Kamala Harris, into the Vice Presidency-cum-Presidency of the United States of America. She whose mother is a native of India and her father Jamaican and a Marxist economics professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA––neither of them descended from Africa!

But no matter. To Democrats, who are preoccupied with race, gender and the lifelong-victim card, narrative is all––qualifications not so much.

But… mmm… now that we know of the close professional ties of Kamala’s husband to the Chinese Communist Party, maybe it wasn’t the color-gender thing that got her chosen for the VP position at all. And maybe it isn’t Obama, who most people surmise is running the show, who orchestrated this fiasco.

After reading this stunning article by esteemed author and journalist Jack Cashill, I have to agree that it is not Obama who is pulling the strings of the Biden regime.

“Although clearly immersed in leftism since childhood, even Marxism,” Cashill writes, “[Obama] never left the shallow end of the pool. As president, he proved so adept at breaking promises because he did not care deeply enough to ensure those promises were realized. What mattered more was that he be seen striking the right pose, finding the right groove, spinning the right narrative. Obama is not a serious man. Never was.”

Cashill doesn’t offer a theory of who is running the show, but my guess is that Susan Rice, Obama’s Ambassador to the U.N. and U.S. National Security Advisor, is in the running––she who is worthy of an Oscar for her spectacular talent in embodying none of the qualities of sincerity, forthrightness and integrity!

WHAT ARE WE REALLY LOOKING AT?

We’re looking at “open Marxists on the verge of a complete takeover of the Democratic Party, writes Cliff Kincaid, journalist, author and director of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Accuracy in Media.

“Bolshevik Bernie Sanders,” Kincaid continues, “the lone Senate member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is poised to take over the Democratic Party, after his supporters and sympathizers engineer the ouster of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Joe Biden.”

Kincaid says that “The Congressional Progressive Caucus, a Marxist-oriented group close to The Democratic Socialists of America…includes nearly 100 members of the Democratic Party in Congress. This group is driving the Marxist agenda of Biden/Harris. It claims 234 chapters around the country, one chapter in Washington, D.C., perhaps a future state, and it grew by 500 percent in one year.”

If things go their way, they will implant their own socialist-Communist-Marxist candidates of choice through their typically honest elections, and by so doing take huge leaps toward their goal of “fundamentally transforming” America into the kind of totalitarian state they so admire. With the help, of course––already rendered––of Big Tech, the leftist media whores, academia, the [lack of] entertainment industry, the courts, et al.

But how could this be? In my decades of observing the behavior of all of the above species, it is clear that the list of those who can be bribed and threatened is endless!

Where does all this leave Jill? Certainly in a less secure place in history than Edith Wilson, whose husband Woodrow was POTUS from 1915 to 1921. Interestingly, like Jill Biden, Edith was the president’s second wife. Yet more interesting is that she literally ran the country after her husband’s stroke in 1919, whereas at this point Jill seems busy running interference for her hapless, devolving husband.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?

Conservatives like me have two things in common. The first is that we look at the Big Picture, meaning a broad historical perspective. Today, there are between 75-million to eighty-million people who voted for Donald Trump and know American history––unlike today’s “woke” generation––and appreciate that we have been through bigger battles and prevailed.

Americans with grit, courage, and love for our country have been through the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, an epic Civil Rights revolution, September 11 th , 2001, and eight years of Obama treachery––and emerged victorious!

Yes, there are problems to solve, all of which emanate from the de facto assisted-living facility at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue:

  • An open southern border which has been breached by hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens in drug cartels and others who have tested positive for Covid-19,
  • The shutdown of the Keystone Pipeline, leading to the loss of thousands of jobs.
  • The suppression of an investigation into the highly suspicious if not rigged 2020 presidential vote,
  • The imposition of more Draconian restrictions to stem the colossal hoax of global warming,
  • “Experts” looking at novel ways to deprive America’s children of yet another year of normal life and school attendance,
  • The resurrection of the deadly nuclear deal with the arch terrorist state in the world, Iran,
  • The attempt to rig all future elections in the U.S. to gain Democrat victories,
  • The resistance to holding Anthony Fauci accountable for the countless wrong calls he has made over the past year,
  • The refusal to indict (and imprison) the thugs, criminals and anarchists from Antifa and Black Lives Matter for their year-long crime spree, on and on.

Inducting Jill Biden into a National Hall of Shame for the elder abuse of her failing husband may seem to pale in light of the above problems, but there are prison cells all over our country holding those convicted of this crime. What she is doing is cruel and inhuman, plain and simple.

The second thing conservatives like me have in common is an indomitable sense of optimism, which is why we are so confident not only that these problems will be solved but that conservatism itself will return to our country with a mighty roar.


Dr. Jill Biden and the problem with education degrees

So here’s a question, culled from our latest Twitter war: If Jill Biden held a doctoral degree in economics or biology instead of in education, would Joseph Epstein have derided her for employing the title “Dr.”?

I doubt it. And that’s the question that’s mostly missing from the controversy over Epstein’s op-ed about Biden, which went crazy-viral after the Wall Street Journal posted it on Friday night. Unless you live under a rock — or stay off social media — you already know that Epstein wrote that Biden’s use of “Dr.” sounded “fraudulent, not to say a touch comic.” And if that wasn’t enough, he instead addressed Biden with a more colloquial title: “kiddo.”

Sexist? You bet. But this isn’t just a matter of a man mocking a woman, as online critics correctly noted. It’s also about the poor reputation of education degrees, like the one Jill Biden earned from the University of Delaware in 2007.

And yes, the two problems are connected. Although almost nobody is willing to say this out loud right now, doctorates in education too often lack the intellectual rigor, difficulty and originality of advanced degrees in other fields. And that, in turn, reflects how education was typecast as a “female profession” from the dawn of our history.

By 1850, the United States enrolled a larger fraction of its children in schools than any other country on Earth. Their teachers were mostly women in their teen years (yes, you read that right) or their early 20s. To operate so many schools, we needed a large, easily mobilized workforce that wouldn’t break the bank. Young women fit the bill: You could hire them for a few years, before they got married, and you could pay them less than men.

That’s the place to start, if you want to understand why American teachers usually receive less pay — and, most of all, less status — than their counterparts in other Western democracies. And it also helps explain the fate of education schools, the institutions that developed to prepare these mostly female teachers for the classroom.

Begun as so-called “normal” schools, these institutions were rarely selective. They couldn’t be, because the country needed so many teachers. So they typically took all comers, which is never a good formula for creating a high-status profession.

And once they got folded into universities, they also became cash cows. The constant demand for new teachers translated into a steady stream of tuition dollars, which was irresistible to revenue-hungry administrators. In short order, ed schools were subsidizing other parts of the university.

Should we be surprised, then, that the degrees offered in education were often of lower quality? At the undergraduate level, students who majored in education came in with lower grades and test scores than those in the liberal arts. And when ed schools established graduate degrees — mainly to train principals and superintendents — these programs likewise lacked the depth and prestige of advanced degrees in other parts of the university.


Jill Biden Gets Standing Ovation on Education During Joe Biden’s Joint Address

Amid the serious nature of President Joe Biden&aposs joint address to Congress — his first following the contentious 2020 election — were a few lighter moments on Wednesday evening, including a standing ovation for his wife, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

The applause came as the first lady, who wore an upcycled version of her inauguration dress, complete with a message of unity, entered the chamber ahead of her husband&aposs speech.

Later in the night, President Biden, 78, touted his wife&aposs role in the education proposals in his $1.8 trillion new American Families Plan, which he said includes "four additional years of public education for every person in America" and "two years of universal high-quality pre-school for every 3- and 4-year-old in America." (The legislation needs Republican support and faces an uncertain future in Congress.)

"Jill is a community college professor who teaches today as first lady," the president said in his address. "She has long said any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us — and she&aposll be leading this effort."

Dr. Biden, a longtime educator, is the first first lady to maintain a job while carrying out her unpaid East Wing duties.

Upon announcing her intention to continue teaching after moving to the White House, she said last year: "I want people to value teachers and know their contributions and lift up their profession."

After taking the fall off to focus on the presidential campaign, she returned to teaching this spring and has acted as an advocate for education since her husband has been in office.

During a community college tour in Dixon, Illinois, earlier this month, Dr. Biden, 69, spoke to reporters about her duel roles, saying: "Most people now call me first lady. But to one group of Northern Virginia Community College [students], I am first, foremost and forever their writing professor: Dr. B."

An outspoken advocate for the value of a community college education, Dr. Biden said earlier this year that her husband&aposs administration was backing ways to make it free.

In another more personal moment from Wednesday&aposs speech, Kamala Harris&apos husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, could be seen waving at the vice president enthusiastically before blowing her kisses from the socially-distanced crowd.

Wearing a mask, Emhoff then patted his chest over his heart before offering his wife one final wave.

Emhoff, 56, is a former entertainment attorney who in December was announced as a new instructor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he currently teaches a two-credit course for the spring semester titled "Entertainment Law Disputes."

He and Harris met on a blind date in 2013 and got married a little over a year later, in August 2014.

Speaking of his role supporting his wife&aposs work as vice president, Emhoff previously told PEOPLE: "She&aposs got plenty of great people giving her political advice. I&aposm her partner, I&aposm her best friend and I&aposm her husband. And that&aposs what I&aposm here for. I&aposm here to have her back."