A paper by Swati Virmani (with Geraint Johnes) has recently been published in the International Transactions in Operational Research Journal. Data from the Young Lives study are used to evaluate the efficiency of education systems in four low and middle income countries: Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. A meta-frontier variant of data envelopment analysis is used to assess the relative performance of each country’s system, and, within each country, to evaluate the impact of public and private schooling, and of urban and rural location. Comparisons are drawn between the four countries; the results indicate that in no country does the educational system perform uniformly badly or well. Conditioning on the inputs available, rural areas are often indicative of higher levels of efficiency, thus suggesting a number of implications for policy.