An education researcher says teaching is becoming a political football, as the election draws nearer.
Labour says if it wins, teachers will be required by law to use government-approved approaches for teaching reading, writing and maths.
It says these subjects are already compulsory - but the way in which they're taught varies between schools.
National says Labour has just pinched its "teach the basics, brilliantly" policy, which mandates primary and intermediate children to spend an hour per day on reading, writing and maths, and be tested on these twice a year.
National also intends to ban cellphones in schools and Labour will introduce compulsory Financial Literacy.
Meanwhile, school attendance has been falling since 2015, as has New Zealand's performance in international education rankings.
Kathryn speaks with Dr Nina Hood, an education researcher and the the founder of the Education Hub.