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GAO discussed education research information, focusing on the decline in information-gathering activities. GAO noted that: (1) federal education research entities shifted their priorities from new data production to service-oriented activity; (2) education officials investigated fewer educational areas through research grants; (3) the Department of Education largely delegated information gathering to independent institutions or contractors who were less concerned with educational research and potentially restricted by contractual constraints; (4) despite significant Education funding increases, educational research institutions suffered major funding reductions which reflected government-wide research and development declines; (5) congressionally mandated research activities received a disproportionate share of available resources; (6) changes in Education leadership and priorities negatively affected research funding initiatives; (7) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved education information requests less frequently than other submissions, and granted new research, evaluation and statistical information requests the least across all agencies; (8) OMB review officers had limited technical training and guidance; and (9) local data required excessive efforts to accumulate for analysis and its application to education research was limited.

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