Our goal is to connect the knowledge base from cognitive development and neuroscience to practical knowledge about learning and teaching in educational environments. Grounding learning and teaching in research about learning, we have discovered a universal scale for learning – which greatly increases the power of assessments and makes possible the use of a common toolkit for learning sequences in any domain. In addition, we have been able to design on-line computer-based assessments that make assessment both less expensive and more convenient. The tests start with assessments that are connected to learning environments and can be used directly to promote and guide learning. Our goal is to move beyond using tests as sorting mechanisms and toward using them as powerful aids for education.