The Labour Party says accusations by Education Minister Anne Tolley over national standards show signs of desperation in the face of an unpopular policy.
Mrs Tolley told the National Party conference on Saturday that Labour Party activists were behind opposition in some primary schools to the National-led Government's policy of national standards.
She described as stupid the campaign against the standards by the primary teachers' union, the New Zealand Educational Institute.
Labour's education spokesperson, Sue Moroney, says about 500 schools have decided of their own volition to reject the standards.
Mrs Moroney says it is nonsense to suggest all school principals opposing the standards are Labour Party activists.