I was reminded recently about how there seems to be opposition in all things. We built a deck last summer underneath a very large and very old apricot tree. As much as I like apricots, I was wishing the blossoms would freeze this spring (which many of them did when it was 29!). The reason for my desire was that there can be so many apricots on that tree and they drop to the ground for several weeks. Our back yard smells like a winery. Also, I didn't want them falling on my new deck. The glorious shade provided by the tree is compromised during July because you might be fielding apricots when you are sitting underneath.
We talked in our Cognition and Creativity class this week about standardized tests. While they are usually inappropriate for early childhood, there is place for them at the table in later years. They do provide a framework and norm for learning the core curriculum. Unfortunately, they can be used as a single indicator of a child's learning. In the early education field we know that multiple measures must be used to monitor a child's progress and development. Just like the tree, the shade and the deck provide a great escape during the summer (basic information provided by standardized assessments), sometimes we get hit with apricots (major decisions made solely on standardized test scores).