• Charter school principal's letter angers parents


    BELLE ISLE, Fla. - Cornerstone Charter Academy Principal Renee Pancoast is publicly apologizing about a controversial letter she sent out.

    She threatened to remove students in an Oct. 28 letter if they didn't pass the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

    "Never, never, never, never what I meant to do," said Pancoast.

    She told parents in the letter if their child did not attend a free after-school test prep, and didn't pass the FCAT, their enrollment would be in jeopardy.

    The move outraged parents like Sandra Stenoff, who said she feels it's yet another example of charter schools cherry-picking students.

    "I was shocked that it was actually put in writing," Stenoff said.

    She removed her two children from Cornerstone last year because of what she said is the school's attitude toward high-stakes testing.

    Pancoast said she wrote the letter in a rush and said it was a mistake.

    "I think what I really meant by that, is that if you don't do well on the FCAT, sometimes you don't matriculate to the next grade," Pancoast said.

    She sent out a letter Thursday clarifying her original letter, in which she apologized and said her first letter was poorly written.

    “The first letter to me there's no misinterpretation, it's very clear,” Stenoff said.

    "And you can understand why the community freaked out when they read that?" Channel 9's Kenneth Craig asked Pancoast.

    "Absolutely, absolutely," Pancoast said.

    "Because you can't kick students out?" Craig said.

    "I can't. I never can and never will," Pancoast said.

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    Charter school principal's letter angers parents