Academic acceleration can help students whose needs are not being met
Research shows that students can better develop their talents—and do so at a younger age—when they are appropriately challenged in the classroom. Grade skipping is one of many acceleration techniques. Other forms of acceleration include early entrance to school (including both kindergarten and college) and curriculum compacting, meaning two years of a typical curriculum is covered in only one year.
Although some people have expressed concern about accelerated students fitting in socially, research findings do not show greater social problems for most students following an accelerated academic path. Acceleration can even help students forge social connections. Furthermore, if students have advanced educational needs, they are at risk of not fitting in socially with same-age peers; being with older students may actually resolve social concerns rather than cause them.
Parents and educators: When deciding whether acceleration is the right option, the student’s academic, social, and psychological needs and maturity must all be taken into consideration. Having many informed voices participate in this decision-making process—including the students themselves, parents, educators, administrators, and even psychologists—will help facilitate reaching the most informed decision.