Principals around the country are furious and disappointed that the national standards results for every primary school in the country will be released this week, the New Zealand Principals' Federation says.
The Government is set to release the figures this week - the first year of school achievement information being made public.
The Government says National Standards, which began in 2008, will show what children should be able to achieve in reading, writing and maths, and will help identify where some children may be struggling.
However, it has drawn resistance from principals, education experts and unions, who believe the data to be unreliable, unhelpful and unable to be compared.
Phil Harding from the New Zealand Principals' Federation said he was "saddened, disheartened and deeply disappointed" that nationwide results from more than 1000 schools were published in national newspapers at the weekend.
It revealed how their pupils stacked up against what was considered a "national standard" in reading, writing and mathematics.
"Putting this stuff into the public space as league tables is a retrograde step for the New Zealand education system," Harding told TV ONE's Breakfast.
Harding said he does not support the competitive element that may come out of league tables.
"International research is very, very clear about this that if you want to reduce equity and improve quality competition is not the way to do it," he said.
Harding said he attended a conference in Melbourne and was told that performance at schools in Australia "has slipped" since the launch of the country's Naplan programme and My School website, which enables people to search the profiles of almost 10,000 Australian schools and locate statistical and contextual information about the schools and compare them with statistically similar schools across the country.
"Despite politicians assuring the public that they would see an improvement in five years they're going backwards," he said.
He said national standards do not reveal anything within the profession that is not already known.
"It's certainly not telling how the school is performing it's simply measuring the profile of the children who attend that school and we know we've got wide diversity across the country.
"As far as giving parents access to relevant information about their child's achievement principals and schools have always agreed that that is a right of every parent to be well informed about progress."
Harding said national standards are not a reliable indicator.
"If you look at the way schools are interpreting them very, very differently there is no validity in any comparison that you make at this time."
He said if the data was able to be maintained within a school, and moderated by the Education Review Office, and used by the school to demonstrate that it is moving forward, the federation would be happy with that.
However, when it goes into the public space that is when "the harm starts to happen", he said.
Whitby mother Belinda Whitehead said when her two sons were at school - both are in their 20s now - she used to volunteer as a reading instructor in their classroom at primary school.
It was only once seeing how other children were reading that she could tell if her sons were doing OK.
But national standards provided more information, and she could now see her daughter's marks against the national score in her two Discovery School reports each year.
"It's nice to know how your child is doing against the rest of the population," she said.
But Upper Hutt mother Frances Lapslie has seen no benefit to her year 5 and year 8 children's learning since the reporting of national standards.
In fact, she was "frustrated" that parent/teacher interviews were tainted by graphs and numbers, instead of quality conversations about her children.
There was never time to be shown her children's story books and art work anymore.
"The whole interview pretty much is spent talking about graphs and standards and where people sit," she said.
- With Fairfax