Although less common than it was decades ago, grade skipping still occasionally occurs in schools today. And research has consistently shown for decades that allowing students to skip grades can lead to numerous benefits for both the student and for society.
One recent study analyzed the long-term occupational outcomes of three cohorts of students who had skipped grades compared to similar students who had not skipped a grade. Those who skipped a grade were more likely to subsequently earn post-graduate degrees, attain patents, author research publications, and register other career-related productivity measures. Moreover, they attained such achievements earlier than those of similar ability but who had not skipped a grade. Broadly, such findings highlight the importance of placing students in environments that meet their individual educational needs at any given time.
Despite decades of research showing positive benefits to grade skipping, many express concern about students fitting in socially. Although this may be an issue with some individuals, research findings do not generally show greater social problems for students who are accelerated through school. Plus, if a student has advanced educational needs, he or she may be at risk for not fitting in socially with same-age peers; being with older students may actually alleviate social concerns, not cause them.
When appropriately challenged, students can better develop their talents and do so at younger ages than otherwise! Grade skipping is only one of many ways to meet the diverse educational needs of academically talented students and may not be optimal for everyone.
Park, G., Lubinski, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2013). When less is more: Effects of grade skipping on STEM productivity among mathematically precocious youth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 176-198.
For a more detailed discussion on the long-term impact of acceleration, see chapters 3 and 6:http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Deceived/ND_v2.pdf