Because of the change, more and more students are not making the grade.
The Mayor and Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, responded Wednesday to the impact of new, higher standards on state test results.
"We're doing better than the system did before, and not as good as we would like it to be," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
"By making the tests so not comprehensive and so predictable we are telling parents across the state your youngster is proficient," Tisch said.
Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, says it was time to raise the bar on student proficiency.
The state now requires a much higher "cut score" on math and English language arts testing for 3rd through 8th grade students.
Which means that in grades 3 through 8 in New York City last year, about 82% of students passed the math test and about 69% passed the English.
With the changes this year, just 54% passed the math and only about 42% passed the English.
"What are we going to do? We are going to take all of the information we got from the state and our schools are going to analyze it, which kids move forward, which kids move back, what help they need, how we're going to do that," Klein said.
The State Education Department was also concerned that state scores were so much higher than scores on the national achievement test.
Eyewitness News asked public school parent, Victoria Bousquet, how she would feel if the new standards lowered the test scores of her two sons.
"I would be outraged, as a matter of fact, to know in essence over the years my child and I have been misled," Bousquet said.
"Kids were doing about the same, no better no worse across the state, but the cuts were changed so that makes it appear as though those students were doing a lot worse," said Prof. Aaron Pallas of Columbia Teacher's College.
Officials pointed out that students and their parents should get used to the idea of higher standards and more work for students who need it.