Bill Gates is right to say the nation’s high schools must change. Washington State University Associate Professor Len Foster agrees with recent comments by the Microsoft Chairman that American high schools need to be restructured if they are to meet the educational needs of students.

A high school teacher and principal before joining the WSU faculty, Foster says professional educators are mindful of the problems that have impeded change within the nation’s high school system and are providing practical approaches to address them.

The lack of change within the nation’s high schools is largely attributable to what Foster calls “sift, sort and select,”  a deeply imbedded method of tracking students which he says renders high schools immune to real reform.

The good news, according to the WSU faculty member, is that the national organization for high school principals has published a series of practical recommendations to address Gates’ concerns. “What we need are dedicated educational leaders and strong university programs to prepare them,” he says. Foster can be reached at 509.335.2771 or