Critics of the national standards in reading, writing and maths say the policy has been put in jeopardy by the resignation of a senior Ministry of Education manager.
Curriculum group manager Mary Chamberlain, who has been leading implementation of the standards, will leave in July.
That is half way through the standards' three-year implementation and comes in the run-up to the election.
The Ministry of Education says Ms Chamberlain is leaving because she wants to spend less time commuting to Wellington from her home in Auckland.
Some critics of the standards say they hope the resignation will be seen as an opportunity to make changes to the policy.
Principals Federation President Peter Simpson says Ms Chamberlain's departure comes before key issues have been resolved.