Dr. Phelton Cortez Moss is a Senior Professorial Lecturer of Education Policy & Leadership and an Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow in the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning at American University. Additionally, he is a Fellow for Education Innovation at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Fellow( NAACP). He has also served as a Senior Policy Adviser to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24) who served as Chair of the Congressional Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee. He was also the former congressional liaison to the US Commission on the Social Status of Black Men & Boys. Prior he served as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Tougaloo College and Senior Leader at the Mississippi Department of Education.
He has served as a Policy Fellow for Education Leaders of Color and provided strategic and policy advice across a range of national education issues for members, including early childhood, K-12, postsecondary, higher education, career, and technical education, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), teacher diversity, and workforce development. Notably, he led the filing of the historic American Teacher Act to establish a federal grant program to incentivize states to raise teacher salaries. In addition, His research focus is focused on building school and district leaders' capacity to diversify the educator workforce and improve efforts to increase teacher recruitment and retention.
He has over ten years of experience working in education and education policy as an English teacher, policymaker, and principal. As the youngest serving principal in MS, his work in moving an underperforming middle school from an F to C in two years led him to become the Bureau Director of Educator Effectiveness and Talent Acquisition at the Mississippi Department of Education working on K-12 education policy issues including teacher diversity, teacher/leader evaluations, teacher recruitment and retention, educator licensure, and issues of inequity in the distribution of effective teachers.
Most notably, he led the design and launch of the nation's first state-run teacher residency program with a $4.5M Kellogg Foundation Grant to address the state's teacher shortage and increase the diversity of the educator workforce in Mississippi. While serving at the Mississippi Department of Education, he completed the year-long national School Systems Leaders Fellowship along with twenty senior education leaders from across the country and received training to become a school systems leader.
Phelton began his career in education as a high school English teacher in Greenwood, Mississippi, where he was Teacher of the Year for two consecutive years and a corps member of Teach for America. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi and a BA in Public Policy Leadership and English from the University of Mississippi. He holds a certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University. Phelton is a member of The Reading League National Board of Directors and the He Is Me Institute National Board of Directors. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Phelton is also the founder of ALL Means ALL Consulting.