Incl. bibl., abstract With a rapidly growing population and limited resources, accountability has taken on increased importance, especially in the area of public management. To assess the effectiveness of public spending on education in the Caribbean, this article compares performance in five Caribbean nations, looking at input indicators such as the teacher-pupil ratio, expenditure per pupil, ... [Show full abstract] the number of adequately trained teachers as a proportion of total teaching staff, and public commitment to education. It analyses their impact on output indicators, including performance in English and mathematics, the repetition rate, and survival rate to the final grade in school. The article concludes that the levels of efficiency in the development of human capital in the Caribbean are very uneven, and that serious challenges face Caribbean countries as they seek to maximise the returns on their investment in education.