This work builds from the success in Ohio with the Ohio Smart Schools initiative supported by KnowledgeWorks and Ohio Education Matters beginning in 2010. During the years of the initiative (2009-2012), the number of Ohio school districts in the top ratings increased by 43.5% while state aid to schools declined 5%, or about $400 million. Over the two-year period, the state invested $345 in innovation funds to spur improvements. Smarter Schools has put together a model that builds on those learnings from Ohio to benefit other states. 

"States and schools will continue to be asked to do more with less," said Benson. "My hope is that we can be helpful in seeing they are able to do that in a way that is best for students, families and communities."

Praise for Ohio Smart Schools 

Smarter Schools advances

Ohio Smart Schools

Smarter Schools is advancing the work of Ohio Smart Schools that led to significant reforms in Ohio to promote efficiency and effectiveness in education. 

Today, our students have far more choices among digital and community-based learning experiences to meet their needs and interests. Overall, we are spending less and achieving more than just a few years ago.”  
- Steve Dackin, former Superintendent, Reynoldsburg City Schools
“Innovation is always about improving academic achievement and reducing costs, so that our students can reach ever higher expectations with the resources available to us. The Ohio Smart Schools initiative highlighted for us the benefits of blended learning in the classroom and stronger connections between the classroom and the community. 
“The work of Ohio Smart Schools helped us make the case for greater efficiency in education and provided direction for us to create tools to help get us there. It was not enough to say that schools needed to do more with less. We needed to be able to show that they could and help them 

Ohio Education Matters beginning in 2010 and undergirds the Smarter Schools work.

"The Ohio Smart Schools work under KnowledgeWorks contributed significantly to a shift in how Ohio pursues education," said Benson. "Smarter Schools is helping to carry that forward in Ohio and in other states."

The Ohio Smart Schools initiative was spearheaded by Andrew Benson for KnowledgeWorks and 

take steps to get there. The Ohio Smart Schools work did that for us.” 
– Robert Sommers, former education adviser to Ohio Gov. John Kasich