Marie Izquierdo is the Chief Academic Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), the nation’s fourth largest school system, serving over 350,000 students and employing 53,000 employees. She is a career educator with over 25 years of experience in the field of school reform. Ms. Izquierdo began her career as a middle school social studies teacher where she focused her work on dropout prevention. Upon completion of her Master of Science in Educational Leadership, she was appointed Assistant Principal for Curriculum of Ponce de Leon Middle School. During her years at Ponce de Leon, she was able to dramatically improve student achievement results through the establishment of flexible block scheduling, curriculum mapping, extensive teacher professional development and ultimately, by procuring a $1.9 million grant that culminated in the authorization of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. In 2004, Ms. Izquierdo was promoted to principal at Henry M. Flagler Elementary School, a school serving nearly 1,000 predominantly economically disadvantaged English Language Learners. By bringing a renewed focus to instruction, a data-driven approach to school performance improvement, increased parental involvement, and the effective use of technology, Flagler Elementary went from being a C-rated school that had not met the requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to a three-time A-rated school meeting NCLB. As a result of her laser like focus on teaching and learning and her proven outcomes, Ms. Izquierdo was recruited by the Florida Department of Education to serve as Executive Director for the State Bureau of School Improvement in 2009. In that capacity, she worked with district and school leadership in Monroe, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade to improve student achievement in the state’s lowest performing schools. During her tenure as Chief Academic Officer, M-DCPS has earned the College Board Award for Equity and Access and ranked first and sixth in the nation in the number of Hispanic and African-American students respectively scoring 3+ on AP exams. The district also posted its highest NAEP scores in 2015 demonstrating increases in both reading and mathematics despite national declines. Prior to becoming Chief Academic Officer, Ms. Izquierdo served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. In that capacity, she served as chief advisor to the chairman of Florida’s Race to the Top Working Group, lead for the district’s Broad Prize in Urban Education review, and district spokesperson in the Spanish media market. She was instrumental in the favorable passing of a $1.2 billion General Obligation Bond for renovating school facilities and technology as well as M-DCPS earning the prestigious Broad Prize in Urban Education in 2012.