That's because schools throughout the municipalities were examined by state authorities and nationally renowned report studies.
Below is a look at each district and how they achieved academic recognition.
West New York
Last week, the district received the results of the Annual Performance Report (APR) under New Jersey's State Performance Plan (SPP) mandated by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), federal law that governs state special education programs for the 2005-2006 school year.
The recent results of testing students on 20 different indicators show that the district has met and/or surpassed standards brought forth by the state, the measuring stick for APR results.
One area in which the school succeeded was in its Individualized Education Program (IEP), an individualized education program provided for students with disabilities based on their specific needs.
State figures for students with IEPS note a 76.1 percent high school graduation rate. West New York's numbers for IEP graduate students marked at 77.1 percent.
The district also edged out the 41.9 percent state target, measuring the numbers of children that are removed from regular classes for less than 21 percent of the day, between the ages of 6 and 21. West New York has 50.1 percent of students meaning that 49.9 percent of IEP students are in regular curriculum classes for nearly 80 percent of their day.
This is an idea director of Special Services, Stacy Olivero, applauds.
With exposure and participation, Olivero notes, the children have a higher chance of succeeding.
Such an example can be found at the Early Childhood Center in West New York; the center shined with 38.7 percent of preschool children receiving special education among their peers, which topped the state's standard of 23 percent.
According to Olivero, the state wants to see fusion of disabled students learning with general education students. "I've seen that exposure in the pre-school level to general education students works," Olivero said. "A lot of students are now succeeding at the elementary level."
Olivero also credits the district to a success rate in tending to its disabled students.
"The trend in the past 20 years has been to send kids with autism out [to other caretakers], because no district could provide service," she said.
However, the recent report reflects West New York's aim to provide service. The state standard for disabled students served in public/private separate schools, residential, or hospital placements is 10.3 percent. The district has nearly sliced that number in half by relocating only 6.4 percent of disabled students. The result is more children are being tended to by the district, a notion that years ago seemed unreachable.
"Over the last four years, everything you pick up has to do with autism," said Olivero. "The rate in the country is one out of 150 [kids have autism] - in boys, it's one out of 90, and in New Jersey [kids], it's one in 64. [More cases are recorded in New Jersey] because of better assessment, better programs, and better identification," said Olivero.
In the future, Olivero noted that the district will continue to aim for exceptional results.
"We're training administrators to implement better practices and strategies that ensure all children are meeting the goals of the West New York district," said Olivero.
The city's two high schools were acknowledged in a recent report by U.S. News & World Report magazine as being amongst the most successful in a study that extended to 40 states.
The report was done in conjunction with School Evaluation Services, an education data research business that spans kindergarten through 12th grade.
Union Hill High School and Emerson High School shined among 18,790 schools analyzed throughout the nation. Union Hill, which has 1,505 students enrolled and has a 13.2:1 student-to-teacher ratio, won a Silver Award - one out of only 405 national high schools to receive one.
Additionally, Emerson received a Bronze Award out of 1,086 high schools recognized.
Currently, Emerson has 1,495 students registered and maintains 13.3 students for every one teacher.
The magazine assessed these schools based on different criteria. U.S. News & World Report used poverty-adjusted income, a figure used to measure performance from statistically typical results. In this case, Emerson scored 1.94 points above predicted results and 1.32 for Union Hill.
The gap between disadvantaged students' proficiency rates and state averages were 8.4 points for Emerson and 4.1 points for Union Hill.
College readiness, a framework that analyzes a student's mastery of college-level material via Advanced Placement courses, rated at 26.3 for students of Union Hill.
This figure is calculated by gathering the number of 12th graders who took at least one AP test before the end of senior year and dividing by the number of 12th graders. The college readiness number comprises 25 percent of the total number, and 75 percent accounts for how well students performed on those tests. For reference, only schools with a value of 20 or higher were rated; a number that represents a "critical mass" of students having access to college-level coursework.
"We couldn't be more proud of this wonderful achievement," said Superintendent of Schools Stanley Sanger, adding, "Our district's sustained level of excellence [is] further proof that every student in Union City's schools is receiving the best education possible."
Emerson has seen an incremental increase of reading and math proficiency from 40.3 percent in 2003 to 66.7 percent in 2006.
Reading and math proficiency for students of Union Hill High School also saw an increase of 2.5 percent between 2005 and 2006.
Mayor Brian Stack of Union City congratulated the efforts by the district.
"The future of any community is its young people," he said, "Their future will in large part be determined by the education they receive today."
The mayor also noted that Union City should be proud in the education children are receiving as noted in the reports.
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