Wisconsin's schools superintendent is defending the state's Common Core academic standards in front of a pair of Republican committees.
Tony Evers told the Senate and Assembly committees reviewing the standards that the requirements are rigorous and clear. He says they allow teachers to go deeper, prepare students for college and help students meet employers' expectations.
He called the standards a serious step forward for the state.
Wisconsin was one of the first states to adopt the voluntary national standards. Conservatives, though, fear the standards trump local control and the federal government is using them to gather students' personal information.
Tea party members sent lawmakers a letter calling for an investigation into the standards. The Republican-controlled Legislature responded by creating Senate and Assembly study committees. Republican Gov. Scott Walker says he wants tougher standards than Common Core.