Truancy Peaks as Louisiana Ties Teacher Salaries to Student Performance

BATON ROUGE, La. — In an unexplainable phenomenon, student attendance in public schools across Louisiana has plummeted since the state adopted a merit pay system tying teachers’ salaries to student performance.

“Frankly, we’re stumped,” said Chas Roemer, President of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. “As soon as word got out that their performance on generic and often inappropriate standardized tests determined how much their teachers got paid, a lot of our state’s students got really, really sick.”

Merit pay systems, such as the one favored by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, seek to motivate teachers by rewarding them for their ability to improve student performance as measured by standardized tests and observation-based evaluation. Based on the axiom that the people who choose to pursue careers in education are chiefly motivated by the lavish pay, these policies have been popular amongst those that have no formal background or experience in education, but have sat in classrooms themselves at some point and are generally angry.

“Students are just empty vessels waiting to be stuffed with knowledge and learning by teachers,” said Gov. Jindal in support of the merit pay system’s implementation. “They have no free will or personal experiences of their own.”

Though teachers were at first able to grade students leniently enough to feed themselves, their attempt to earn a living wage took a massive hit when students began skipping school en masse.

Asked for his perspective on the issue, Louisiana public school student Samuel Scott, currently a junior who has had twenty-eight consecutive absences and sports the word “pussy” tattooed across his collarbone, was forthcoming. “Mr. Charbell is a bitch,” he explained. “He used to try to make my ma come in for meetings, and ask about my home life and shit, but I have deep-seeded trust issues and stopped attending classes. Improve my scores now, bitch!”

Perhaps because of the prevalence of attitudes such as Scott’s, Richard Charbell, a math teacher of 15 years, has seen his salary sharply decrease in the past year. He has reportedly been eating Ramen noodles for lunch and biking to school every day.

“Just as a doctor who tends to patients that choose to smoke or consume red meat, teachers that attempt to help at-risk students are undeserving of our support,” said Gov. Jindal, explaining the wisdom underlying the new pay system. “Really, the greedy teachers bring this on themselves. If they want earn a living, they can go teach at a charter school.”