Elementary schools across the US often give weekly spelling lists that the students will be tested on at the end of the week.

Clearly schools believe having kids learn to spell these words helps them with reading and/or writing if they keep doing it.

Does the evidence support this?

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    One way it could be improved for example is by linking to specific justification for a spelling curriculum ( eg k12reader.com/spelling-curriculum-design ) and specifically indicate which claims they are skeptical about.
    – TimRias
    Dec 4, 2021 at 10:23
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    isn't this self-evident? it's hard to write a word if you don't know how to spell it. if you grade writing performance as correctly writing words, then how could proper spelling not improve results?
    – dandavis
    Dec 8, 2021 at 20:29
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    @dandavis, no, it is not self-evident. As a counter-example, the vast majority of my spelling skill comes from reading everything I could get my hands on -- if spelling lists were a significant contribution, my written vocabulary would be much smaller, at a maximum of 4000 words.
    – Mark
    Dec 9, 2021 at 2:10
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    Why single out spelling? We could ask: Do school tests in any subject increase student performance? If not, maybe they are designed to measure student performance, rather than to increase it.
    – GEdgar
    Sep 20 at 18:42
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    @GEdgar mostly due to how frequent they are. New words each week, tested at the end of the week, is different then spending a month on a topic and then testing how one retained it.
    – dsollen
    Sep 21 at 13:33


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