By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For years, school administrators would recommend skipping as a way to make sure that exceptionally bright kids were not frustrated in classrooms where they’d already mastered the content.

While education columnist Jay Mathews says that skipping a grade “is the cheapest way to enrich a bright child,” now school officials are uncomfortable, worried that age gaps cause social problems.

A Vanderbilt University study of the long term effects of grade skipping boosts the current emphasis on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. Using 40 years of data from more than 3400 kids, findings showed that when students skipped a grade, they were more likely to reach goals earlier, secure advanced degrees and more citations in STEM fields than their matched intellectual peers.

Mathews cites advocates who believe that American schools worry “more about acceleration stunting their emotional growth than enhancing genius.” Remember, Albert Einstein published his paper on relativity at age 26!

Read more about the research in The Washington Post.

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