No excuses university–culture of universal achievement


Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline Jim Collins

Upon reading chapters 1-5 of No Excuses University (Lopez, 2013), reflect on the foundational concepts of No Excuses University addressing each of the listed points. Compose your journal using first-person language.  

  1. Consider the structure of each chapter. Describe the key elements you observed that make each chapter easy to follow or more readable.
  2. Select one Key Concept and one Theory to Practice statement from any of the first five chapters to reflect upon. Explain why it is personally and/or professionally relevant to you.
  3. Chapter five discusses the concept of having your moment. What was your moment? When did you know that you wanted to be involved in the lives of students or youth?
  4. What are the most common reasons why educators become jaded? What actions might ensure that we don’t lose sight of the commitments that we once made as new educators entering the profession


Lopez, D. (2013). . (2nd ed.) Turnaround Schools Publications.

  • Chapter 1: Five Whispered Words
    • This chapter introduces you to the early life of the author and his parents influence on his education.
  • Chapter 2: Lets Be the Research
    • This chapter introduces the authors years as an educator/administrator and his motivation to enact change.
  • Chapter 3: Finding Possible  in the Impossible
    • This chapter continues the authors years as an educator/administrator and the realization that change is possible in any school
  • Chapter 4: No Excuses University
    • This chapter addresses the No Excuses University philosophy and introduces the six exceptional systems: Culture of Universal Achievement, Collaboration, Standards Alignment, Assessment, Data Management, and Interventions.
  • Chapter 5: Culture of Universal Achievement
    • This chapter addresses the importance of creating a positive school culture that supports student success and promotes cultural awareness.