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Tools for Analyzing NAEP Data

Since the early 1990s, NAEP reports and data have been placed on the NAEP website to provide easy public access to data. Data tables are also available on CD-ROM. Restricted-use micro-level data can be obtained on CD-ROM for approved purposes of secondary analysis, provided the user (and organization) has been granted a license.

The following information describes the tools available for exploring and analyzing NAEP data.

NAEP Data on the Web

NAEP Website Tools and Applications describes each of the data tools that assist in analysis of publicly-available data, and provides fast access to user-friendly quick reference guides, tutorials, and other information to get you started. The tools available are:

  • NAEP Data Explorer (NDE) for customizable tables and graphics;
  • NAEP Questions Tool (NQT) for released questions, scoring guides, and student responses;
  • Item Maps for each subject and grade;
  • State Comparisons of scale scores by gender, race/ethnicity, school lunch eligibility, and percentile;
  • State Profiles for NAEP mathematics, reading, science, and writing, with comparisons among the states;
  • District Profiles for the four state subjects for selected urban districts, with comparisons among districts; and
  • NAEP Questions Tool for released questions, scoring guides, and student responses.

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The NAEP Primer

The NAEP Primer (NCES 2011463) guides new researchers through the intricacies of the NAEP database, making its technologies more user-friendly. This guide contains a mini-sample of real data that are approved for public use, thus enabling secondary analysts to familiarize themselves with the procedures even before obtaining a license. The NAEP Primer also provides a technical history of NAEP and other information that make it an excellent resource for anyone interested in NAEP data.

NAEP Data Toolkit

The NAEP Data Toolkit contains data analysis tools for restricted-use data. One of these tools is NAEPEX, a data extraction program for choosing variables, extracting data, and generating SPSS control statements. The other tools are cross-tabulation and regression analysis modules that operate in stand-alone mode and require SPSS system files as input. These modules perform optimally for small and medium size data sets (up to 30,000 cases), but are not recommended for use on the large NAEP data files that have been available since 2002.

The NAEP Data Toolkit procedures (606KB PDF) are described on the CD-ROM. This disc may be requested directly from NAEP when you are planning your project. Note that the actual restricted-use data must be requested separately from NCES, after obtaining a license.

AM Statistical Software

AM is a statistical software package for analyzing data from complex samples, especially large-scale assessments such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS). AM was developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) with funding in part from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

AM is free and may be downloaded from the AM website. Training in using AM software with NAEP data is offered at the NAEP Database Training Seminar. For more information, Contact NAEP.


Last updated 03 August 2011 (NB)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education