Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on the Wall Street Journal’s Sexist and Derogatory Op-Ed

For Immediate Release: December 14, 2020

Tony Pals,
(202) 238-3235

Tong Wu,
(202) 238-3233

Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on the Wall Street Journal’s Sexist and Derogatory Op-ed

December 14, 2020

AERA condemns the opinions expressed by Joseph Epstein in a recent op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal criticizing Dr. Jill Biden’s use of the “Dr.” title. The op-ed was a shameful exercise in the denigration of women, doctoral education, community college faculty, and professionals who advance evidence-based practices and policies through education research. The Journal should have had second thoughts about publishing such an ill-informed, juvenile, and misogynistic piece.

Dr. Biden and all others who have persevered to earn doctorates, who are committed to educating diverse populations at community colleges across the U.S., and who work to improve education, should be supported for their tenacity and commitment—not told to know their place by those who never left, or wish to return us to, a much different time.

We were proud to have Dr. Biden address our 2016 Annual Meeting, where she spoke to thousands of education researchers about her work supporting the needs of military- and veteran-connected students in our K-12 classrooms. She is an exemplar to all who wish to pursue the dream of a doctoral degree and service to the greater good.

AERA strongly supports Dr. Biden’s choice to use the title of “Dr.” We encourage all who have earned doctorates, may they be PhDs, EdDs, or MDs, to proudly do so as well, and to help ensure that women do not continue to bear the brunt of the type of belittling behavior demonstrated in the Journal’s op-ed.  


About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.