How you ask? Well long story short: his mother abandoned him and left to another state. I took him in around March of this year.
Anyway, what I need help with is his grades. When I took him in, I transferred him to a high school closer to my home. His grades were very bad, which is understandable due to his terrible home life with his inept mother. At the end of the year, I found out he failed 4 of his classes! I almost considered having him get his GED but his mother needs to approve that and she's kind of unavailable.
He was a sophomore then and he would be a junior now but was reclassified as a sophomore because he failed so many classes. I moved past that and just told him to focus on his classes now and move forward. I really thought that he would do better this year because he's a lot happier, but his grades are still terrible! He's failing two classes already and barely passing the rest, even Spanish class, and I know Spanish so he could ask me for help. At least he has a B in Algebra, which is truly amazing.
How do I motivate him to do better? I even gave him a cell phone recently. Should I take that away? It's hard being a friend/brother/dad all rolled into one.