Education Minister Anne Tolley is determined to introduce national standards for primary school children next year, despite strong opposition from teacher unions.
Mrs Tolley says an Education Review Office report suggesting one in three new entrant teachers are failing to cover reading and writing adequately shows the urgent need for national standards.
The New Zealand Education Institute says the minister should not use the findings as an excuse to push the standards through.
Mrs Tolley told Morning Report that while the report, from the Education Review Office, shows that the teaching of reading and writing in this country is good, the assessment of pupils' work by senior staff needs to improve.
She said one in five children in the education system are failing.