On a recent Sunday, The New York Times' "Sunday Review" section had two articles that touched on two very different challenges in education. One talked about the failure of the college application process. The solution proposed was a system of assessment centers. The second looked at certificate programs for aspiring medical assistants. The article bemoaned the high cost and low quality of these programs in relation to the outcomes for graduates. These discussions of seemingly unrelated topics in education share at least one common thread - the need for scalable, performance-based learning and assessment.