I clicked on
improve and I unclicked the checkbox that stated whether the suggested edit was helpful.
I added my own edit reason.
But the suggested edit's edit reason stuck:
Why on earth did that happen?
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Based on the comments, it appears you actually did this:
Step #6 is the problem: you can't actually submit an edit that doesn't change anything. Even a grace-period "stealth edit". When you do that, the edit is silently discarded, regardless of what was done with the summary.
Note that when you click "Improve", you cannot submit without actually changing something. If you could, you'd be able to get around the normal two-vote approval process on Stack Overflow, and approve edits on any site without leaving your name attached to them in some way! Normal edits will fail silently though; there's really no harm.
This is the expected behavior. Whenever you click "Improve", the suggested edit reason is automatically filled in. It doesn't matter if you uncheck the "this edit was helpful" checkbox or not. You still start with the suggesting editor's edit reason. You have to manually change it if you want it to say something different.
I assume this is designed for convenience: most of the time that you improve an edit, you're building on the same theme established by the original editor. I realize that might not always be true now that you can "reject and improve", but the feature has been in place long before that was possible. And for what it's worth, I still don't think this is a bug or worth fixing.