Hours before Michelle Rhee is set to speak at a rally at the state Capitol, the head of the state’s teachers union offered a suggestion for legislators considering a gamut of education reforms: ignore her.

“Michelle Rhee is recognized for divisive politics as evidenced by her short-lived tenure in Washington, D.C. Why should [Connecticut] citizens want to import outsiders like Rhee, when there are so many solid ideas for education reform right here in our own state?” Mary Loftus Levine, the head of the state’s largest teachers union, wrote ahead of the 3 p.m. rally.

Rhee, the former embattled chancellor of D.C. public schools and now a leader of the national education reform group StudentsFirst, has begun airing TV commercials in the state supporting Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s education bill. In an email releasing the advertisement, a spokesman for StudentsFirst wrote that the group has spent six figures airing this advertisement and “marks the beginning of a substantial media campaign by StudentsFirst to promote student-centered reforms in Connecticut.”

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