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When is failure not failure?


Earlier this year I was approached by some parents who were having an issue with one of their children in a Battle Ground school. The child was failing every subject…yes…every subject. The parents tried to get the school to engage with them to find solutions. The parents made up their own feedback form. The parents told the child they would not be promoted to the next grade. On the other end the school was telling the student that they would be promoted even if the parents didn’t want it to happen. The parents asked for the child to be retained and the school refused. They asked me to intercede on their behalf (which I did) which lead to a discussion between the parents and district post end of the school year.

That lead me to submit a 2nd series of questions to the Battle Ground School District administrative office. It took 2 weeks to get their answers which I found evasive and unsatisfying. I then followed up with a series of additional questions which then took four (4) weeks to get a response to. Both documents are attached. You can read them for yourself and then decide for yourself whether there is an issue of hiding failure.

The BGSD apparently doesn’t believe that ANY student fails…they just need more help. Most students are passed on even if you and I would consider them failing. If there is no responsibility or consequences why would a student change their behavior? If the school(s) isn’t/aren’t holding students (and parents) accountable then we get students passed on who are almost certainly guaranteed to be failures and have problems in education and perhaps in the real world.

Please…please take the time to read both letters and let me know what you think.

Rylander RFR final 08_19_15  (original letter asking about failing students)

Rylander PRR 9_23-15 (The follow up responses to the next set of questions)

end of year retention data 14_15  (This is the data on retention that they originally said didn’t exist and only became available when I submitted letter #2)


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