"I believe children do what you expect from them; you get back what you expect. If you have high levels of expectations then you get that back from students," says Randy Foster. A teacher at Booker T. Washington magnet high school. He's been called the school's renaissance man. He teaches music theory and also philosophy.
Fellow teacher Carole Yeaman says, "he drags them kicking and screaming into the classics, Aeschylus and Plato and they write us back and tell us, 'all we talked about in college was Plato and I was the only one that knew.'"
10th grader Ashley King says, "sometimes he can be harsh, but then when he's harsh with you, you hate how he yells at you so you do the work and improve. He really pushes you to give your best, give 110 percent."
Why would students willingly endure occasional harsh treatment? Because after taking Foster's class many receive college credit. And if they're pursuing a career in the performing arts Foster makes sure they're prepared.
10th grader Jessica Champlin says, "so I can look at a sheet of music and know what I'm talking about or know what I'm singing as before I couldn't really understand what it was about."
Principal Quinton Ross says, "he's a go-getter, he works hard. He's responsible for our character education program that we have here at B.T.W. also our word-up program, so he's involved in the whole process of school."
Foster's involvement with B.T.W. began during the planning phase of the school. He says it's a great environment in which to be a teacher and a student. "There's something about the way kids are taught to think or you approach a task or you problem solve in an arts class that makes a permanent difference in the way you think and the way you approach tasks and therefore you do better educationally," says Foster.
In the past he has also served as the sponsor of B.T.W.'s scholar's bowl and national honor society.