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Statistical Software

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Watch a module: Using Software to Analyze NAEP Data.

Analyzing the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) restricted-use datasets requires special statistical methods due to their scope and complexity. The following software packages can assist you in conducting analyses:

  • EdSurvey R Package,
  • AM Statistical Software, and
  • the NAEP Data Toolkit.

Restricted-Use Data

Restricted-use micro-level data can be obtained on CD-ROM for approved purposes of secondary analysis, provided the user and organization have been granted a license.

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EdSurvey R Package

The released EdSurvey version 1.0 is designed for the analysis of NAEP data. It gives users the ability to process and analyze NAEP data efficiently, taking into account NAEP’s complex sample survey design and the use of plausible values. The key functions of EdSurvey version 1.0 include the following: 

  • data processing and manipulation;
  • cross-tabulation, including estimation of NAEP scale score means based on plausible values;
  • regression and regression with plausible values as the dependent variable;
  • correlations include Pearson, Spearman, polyserial, polychoric, and correlation between plausible values; and
  • analysis of NAEP achievement levels.

As the development of EdSurvey progresses, several additional functions, such as gap analysis, trend analysis, and multiple comparisons, will be added. Subsequent releases of the EdSurvey package will provide various visualization tools and allow users to analyze other NCES datasets—including international data—with appropriate procedures.

AM Statistical Software

AM is a statistical software package for analyzing data from complex samples, especially large-scale assessments such as 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 NCES. Learn more about AM software and download free from the AM website.

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NAEP Data Toolkit

The NAEP Data Toolkit contains data analysis tools for restricted-use data. One of the tools within the toolkit 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-along mode and require SPSS system files as input. These modules perform optimally for small and medium size datasets (up to 30,000 cases), but are not recommended for use on the large NAEP data files that have been available since 2002. 

To use the NAEP Data Toolkit,

  • request a disc from NCES, 
  • make a separate request to obtain a license to access restricted-use data, and 
  • read the Toolkit procedures.


Last updated 07 March 2018 (AA)