Stephen Krashen and Susan Ohanian
"The way you end cycles of poverty is through educational opportunity …" (Arne Duncan, in "A conversation with US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan," in the NCTE Council Chronicle, 2011).
The US Department of Education says that with better teaching, we will have more learning (higher test scores, according to the feds), and this will lead to major improvements in the economy. This is a core concept that drives US Department of Education policy. It also suggests that our economic problems are because of low-quality education.
The US DOE philosophy is identical to Bill Gates' view: "There's a lot of uncertainty today about our nation's economy, but there is no uncertainty that a high-quality education is key to economic prosperity for all of our people--and for us as a nation" (Gates, 2011).
But there is good evidence supporting the view that the relationship is the other way around, evidence that agrees with Martin Luther King's position: "We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished.” (Martin Luther King, 1967, Final Words of Advice).