The architect of a successful Maori learning programme says the Government is cheapening it by replacing core aspects of the syllabus.
The Government has announced the programme, Te Kotahitanga, is being enhanced into a broader programme called Building on Success and says the original programme is not being dropped.
Waikato University Professor of Maori Education Russell Bishop - who was for 12 years director of Te Kotahitanga - says he does not think the programme being improved at all.
He says a key ingredient of the programme, in-class facilitators or coaches for teachers, are being dropped to save money.
Professor Bishop says Te Kotahitanga runs in 50 schools and is credited with lifting the educational achievements of Maori students.
A three-year international evaluation of the programme, led by Victoria University of Wellington, applauded it and recommended it be expanded in to other schools.
Education Minister Hekia Parata was unavailable for comment.