As a fifth grade teacher who spent an inordinate amount of time on fractions this year, I don't think they need to be dropped out of our elementary curriculum, just taught and emphasized differently.
The instruction of fractions in elementary school should be almost completely manipulative based. I modified my weekly schedule so I taught math two days a week, three hours each day. I spent two hours exploring concepts with manipulatives in cooperative groups, and modelling the "paper process" of what they did. Then I gave students paper and they did both manipulatives and paper to work the problem. Finally, when they were successful, (sometimes the next day) I would have them use paper to predict then manipulatives to prove their answer. Students loved this approach and although some continue to struggle with the often long involved process of calculating fractions, they can all perform the function at some level.
I think it is a good foundation for the complex math they will encounter in 7th and on. My students loved the challenge when given the supports they needed to be successful.