"As history has recorded, in many other instances, chance meetings and disassociated events, sometimes seem to strangely come together and suddenly, an "Innovative Happening" occurs! So it was in the development of the Center for Modern Socratic Innovation (CMSI).
The winter of 2005 provided for a chance meeting of three individuals with a common goal.
Norm Bakos, a Buffalo Civic Leader, former City of Buffalo Councilmember, and the Project Coordinator of Solutions Partnering Inc., whose Mission is to solve Civic Challenges, met with a colleague of his, Dr. Win Wenger, a noted author in Creative Problem Solving. To their meeting, Norm had invited Dennis Welka, then Principal of P.S. #43, a Buffalo Public School in Norm's Neighborhood.
Unbeknown, at the time, to any of the 3 participants, was the fact that this meeting would serve as an "incubator" for the development of an Educational Reform Movement that would have the potential to positively change the landscape of education and propel it forward into the future.
Today, the "Center for Modern Socratic Innovation" (CMSI), a for-profit Corporation with a "Social Conscience" is partnered with Solutions Partnering in order to bring about Educational Reform to the Buffalo area, New York State and eventually to the United States.
Mr. Welka retired from School #43 and became Principal of St. Andrews Country Day School, in Kenmore, NY, a suburb of Buffalo. In 2008, a Grant from the M & T Bank Foundation brought Dr, Wenger to Buffalo to work with Welka to train all the Teachers at the School, in Modern Socratic Teaching Techniques and establish a "Learning Lab".
All of the students were pre and post tested annually from 2008, 2009 and 2010. and the analysis of the TerraNova Tests were performed by an independent Company. The test results in the Third Year mirrored those of the Second Year showing an average accelerated growth rate of 4.4 years, in one year.
The information detailed in a "CMSI Report" was hand-carried, by NY State Regent Robert Bennett, to the NY State Department of Education, "Office for School Innovation". Regent Bennett advised that "they were most impressed" and they recommended that CMSI begin a 2nd "Learning Lab" in an Urban District School with Students from lower socio-economic Families.
So interesting were the results of the CMSI Report, of Modern Socratic Teaching Techniques that the Education Department and the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College are participating in a Survey Study of the results and an Analysis of the Students and Teachers at St, Andrews which they will then compare with the Students and Teachers of our 2nd "Learning Lab which we hope to have in operation very soon.
It is our goal to prove that not only can ALL children learn, but they can learn well, using techniques in Creativity and Problem Solving, to better our Society."