Yesterday's release of test scores told the story of a rough transition for NYC schools from their old standardized tests to the new, national Common Core standards for students in third to eighth grades. Overall, only 26.4 percent were considered proficient in English, while 29.6 percent of students were proficient in math. And nowhere was a more telling sign of NYC's achievement gap then the disparity between white and Asian students and black and Hispanic students.

While Asian and white students scored decently on the new test, black and Hispanic students had abysmal results, scoring only in the teens in both fields. Schools chancellor Walcott called the achievement gap "totally unacceptable." Bloomberg, however, was more upbeat about the results, comparing the numbers to other cities in New York State and saying the results were "very good news, even though people haven't written it that way yet."

Bloomberg then defended his focus on testing in a bizarre, rambling analogy: "The days of just learning basic facts of how you live in an agrarian society...You dig a hole, you put a seed in," he told reporters. "You add dirt, you add water, and up comes the corn. You take a piece of metal in the industrial world. You put it in the lathe, you follow the instructions, you turn the crank, out comes a piece of something that's useful. In the knowledge world that we're going into, you have to learn to think critically."

He continued, "Going from the agricultural world to the industrial world is very different than going from the industrial world to the knowledge world and it's going to be one of the great challenges."

Will NYC schools be ready for "Knowledge World?" Not very, says NYC comptroller and Mayoral candidate John Liu (who is getting screwed every which way these days) in a statement:

"The simple fact of the matter is that the City’s focus on high-stakes testing is wrong, and its strategy of ‘teaching to the test’ has come at the expense of real learning. While the new state tests may be harder, what we see here is Bloomberg doubling down on a bad policy. Tests should be used to assess what students know and guide educators in curriculum development, that is, to help kids learn. They should not be used for punishing teachers, closing schools, determining merit pay, or helping adults win elections.”

As a mayor who came in looking to drastically improve New York City public schools, the final significant test scores of Bloomberg's tenure underscore how badly he's failed.