Principals are questioning the level of parental support for the national standards in reading, writing and maths.
Education Minister Anne Tolley, told a conference of the Principals Federation on Friday that the Government has a mandate from parents to introduce the standards.
She said schools that resist the national standards will have to answer to their communities.
But principals spoken to by Radio New Zealand are sceptical about the extent to which parents support the standards.
They claim parents are neutral about the standards and were happy with what schools were doing before the standards were introduced.
The federation is to re-enter discussions with the minister about the standards.
It says they are flawed and need to be reviewed.