Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2003 (Revised July 2003)

Union City Schools: Sustaining The Turnaround

by Rosabeth M. Kanter and Ryan Raffaelli


Under the leadership of Superintendent Thomas Highton, Union City Schools, New Jersey, underwent a 14-year turnaround. In 1989, the Union City School District was the second-worst-performing district in New Jersey. As Mr. Highton prepared to retire, 2002 student test scores had increased to the point where Union City was the highest among New Jersey cities with a population of 50,000 or more. Teachers, parents, and administrators pondered whether his district would be able to sustain the changes after his departure.

Keywords: Leadership; Leading Change; Performance Consistency; Change Management; New Jersey;


Kanter, Rosabeth M., and Ryan Raffaelli. "Union City Schools: Sustaining The Turnaround." Harvard Business School Case 303-137, June 2003. (Revised July 2003.)