New CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman has immediately touched the third rail of Mecklenburg County public education: Closing chronically underperforming schools. Not going to happen soon, if at all, but the fact that Gorman at least mentioned the option is a big shift in CMS policy.

The idea of a hard, fixed performance bar below which a school cannot slip is a novel concept for CMS. Gorman will no doubt soon discover this. Watch the status quo defense mechanism rise to slap the suggestion down, much the same way the mortal threats posed by the CMS Task Force’s reform plans were turned away before change could infect CMS.

Another district-wide reform Gorman might settle on would involve minimum performance standards for rising ninth-graders. Middle schools remain the true CMS battleground for success as too many kids reach high schools without a hope of graduating.

Will Gorman pick this fight with the CMS old guard? Let’s see.