CHICAGO (CBS) — Students return to the Chicago Public Schools Tuesday, and chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard says he believes teachers will put aside their labor complaints when it comes time to get to the front of the classroom.

Earlier this week, teachers staged a rally to protest canceled raises and the push by Brizard and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to lengthen the school day.

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But on the CBS 2 Morning News Friday, Brizard said in his experience, teachers value educating students over labor concerns.

I’ve talked to a lot of teachers. I have not heard that from them. What I can tell you – 25 years in education as a teacher, from a teacher, et cetera – I can tell you that as a professional, they will walk in that classroom, they’re going to give you the 150 percent. All of that, they leave behind when they walk into a classroom,” Brizard said.

Brizard also expressed confidence that the labor issues with the Chicago Teachers Union will be resolved smoothly.

“This is the negotiation time for new contracts, so we’re working with the CTU. We’ve got teams of people working on this,” he said. “We’re going to get it done. We know that we’re going to make it happen.”

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On Wednesday, the union complained that lengthening the school day for 90 minutes while only offering a 2 percent raise amounts to failing to compensate teachers fairly for their time.

“We do know that there are people, including parents, who want a longer school day. But they also want their teachers and paraprofessionals to be appropriately compensated,” CTU President Karen Lewis said Wednesday. “That’s where the problem is, it’s not about the longer school day, it’s about how one is appropriately compensated for that work.”

The union is also angry that in June, the Chicago School Board voted not to give out 4 percent raises to teachers that were already agreed to in the union contract, in the face of a budget deficit of more than $700 million.

So far, the Chicago Teachers Union says there are no plans for a strike this year, but they will continue to fight for what they call fair wages.

As the first full school year on his watch begins, Brizard also laid out a change in emphasis for education in the CPS system. He has said he wanted to move more toward a core curriculum and lessen the focus on test-taking.

Shortly after retired Mayor Richard M. Daley first took control of the public school system in 1995, then-CEO Paul Vallas was widely criticized for his focus on test-taking and test preparation. But Brizard says the focus now will be about preparing students for the future.

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“More preparation for college – that’s’ the word,” he said. “We have 8 percent of our 11th graders ready for college. Too many of our high school kids finishing high school not ready for what comes after. We’re going to rev up the level of rigor; get our kids ready for universities, colleges and the world of work.”