A Good Mom Will Fight to Have Her Kid Fail in School


schoolYou hear about parents fighting to get their kid's school to push their child to the next grade all the time. So what do you call a mom who is fighting to force her son's school to hold him back? A good parent. 

At least Rose Colon sounds like a pretty darn good one to me. Her 11-year-old son Cristian failed his state exams last year, and he still struggles to read. But teachers at his New York City School pushed him into sixth grade this year anyway. It doesn't take a whole lot of common sense to guess he'll just continue to struggle with the more difficult work. Unless someone cares enough to stop the social promotion, this little boy will become a statistic.

It takes a good parent to face the biggest fear of all -- that our kids aren't "good enough" at something. It takes an even better one to not just face it, but fight it. Acknowledging our kids are bad at something is hard, but telling other people is even harder.

Unfortunately, we've put such a stigma on a kid "failing" a school year. Just the word "failing" sounds so defeatist. What parent wants to think their kid failed? But like learning to eat with utensils or learning to use the potty, sometimes school takes longer for some kids than others. It's not failing to recognize that our kid is one of those learners.

There's an irony that this story cropped up in the Daily News the day after a story written by American Teacher of the Year Ron Clark spread like wildfire across my friends' Facebook walls. Clark, who runs a celebrated academy for educators, wrote a piece for CNN that's supposed to tell every parent what their kids' teacher wishes they knew. High on his list is a request that parents "please quit with all the excuses."

I hear him. I'm more than a little tired of the parents who play the "it's all the teacher's fault" game. Sure it is. And you never tried to get one over on the teacher when you were a kid either. Uh huh.

Unfortunately, sometimes the good parents who have dropped the excuses in favor of just getting their kids educated face the other problem with education: a screwed up system that will push through failing kids. I wish Rose Colon luck. She's doing the right thing -- even if it is the hardest.

Would you fight for your kid's right to fail a grade?


Image via mecredis/Flickr

education, grades


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Ashleigh Munson

Right now in my state of New Mexico, our governor is fighting to end social promotion, the practice of advancing kids into fourth grade who cannot read at all. And the state legislature is FIGHTING HER TOOTH AND NAIL. I don't get it, for the life of me.

nonmember avatar Jackie

I don't solely rely on the school to educate my daughter. What was this mom doing when he was in first grade, second grade...? Schooling is a supplement to what you do at home, not the other way around, though it is shocking that he went so long without SOMEONE noticing he could barely read!

navyw... navywife0204

my nephew failed a grade because my sister wasn't one of her BFFs and he wasn't one of her "favorites" .  she refused to help him in any way.  Told my sister he wouldn't amount to anything.  She moved to another state, they wanted to advance him, my sis said no, he repeated the grade he failed.  he's a year behind, but he's an A/B sutdent.  I don't agree with the social promotion either.  sometimes it's necessary for children to repeat a grade to ensure that they won't continue to fail and to be sure they know what they need to know before advancing.

hello... hellosugar

I hate when article writers don't put all the facts out there.  For those who are wondering where this mother was during the other grade school years and why her kid doesn't read at grade level, go to the original article.  The child in question is special needs and the mom has been fighting his continued social promotions for years now, but because they have lower standards for special needs - he keeps getting bumped up.  

Social promotion helps our kids our kids turn into the self entitled irresponsible teens, we all so love.  There are no consequences for failing to learn the materials for whatever reason.  Except for those later grade teachers who get fired because kids like this couldn't meet the standards, when was known they were behind many grades before the tested.     

momka... momkaribg

If i felt he was not ready for the next grade and would fall even futher behind.

nonmember avatar Melissa

Hellosugar said this child is special needs. What this mother needs is a child advocate, who can help her fight the school. Our oldest has special needs & we have a child advocate, who has helped us a lot.

daerc... daerca574

I have had issues in the past with my daughter keeping up. I can understand the frustration is knowing the school doesn't always listen to us parents!

nonmember avatar KD

Since Kindergarten I fought for my youngest daughter. She was obviously behind despite having been in pre-school, despite me working with her (my three other children were all reading or almost reading before K), and her Kingergarten teacher waited until the last report card to write that my child was lazy and sisn't want to learn. Even though I was at the school on a weekly basis and asked to have her tested for special needs classes. Fast forward to 1st grade and she had a wonderful teacher who had her tested without us pushing. Although she has been promoted per school district policy she takes half of her coursework through special needs classes for severe learning disabilities. She is also catching up with her peers! State testing is this year (3rd grade) and if she doesn't pass despite all of the interventions they plan during the test, she will repeat 3rd grade (also per district policy and with out support). To ask where the pareents were is a little judgemental. Most parents in this situation are active in their children's education and can't get through to the teachers or administration that there is a problem. It is very difficult to test younger kids for learning disabilities, but in our case, it was obvious and could have been found in Kindergarten. In some cases, it takes a couple of years. The point is, keep pushing. If you want the child to repeat a grade then demand at district level that they repeat it.

heath... heathermichelle

If I felt they were not ready to and would fall further behind, I would.

KamiB79 KamiB79

I would find for whatever is in my Children's best interest!

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