MODERN CURRICULUM PRESS, INC., (MCP) was an educational materials publisher founded in BEREA in 1963 by Alice Lorenz-Baer (see ALICE D. BAER) to provide reading programs for kindergarten through third grade stressing the teaching of phonetic word-attack skills, a strategy which had been almost completely discarded since the 1920s for the sightword approach. A reaction among teachers in favor of the older method enabled MCP to begin doubling its sales yearly from the beginning. In 1971 it merged with Reardon, Baer & Company, the STRONGSVILLE educational publishing concern of Baer's husband, F. William Baer. MCP grew into a sixty-five worker operation and opened an office in Toronto. Some twenty corporations made approaches to acquire the company, which was finally sold in 1972 to Esquire, Inc. Mrs. Baer continued to manage the company until her retirement in 1975.
Esquire in turn was bought by Gulf-Western, which evolved into Paramount Communications, one of the industry's leading publishers of books and educational materials. In 1994, Paramount was acquired by Viacom, which subsequently moved MCP operations to New Jersey and Indiana. MCP became an imprint of Simon and Schuster, Viacom's U.S. publishing unit. In 1998, Simon and Schuster sold its educational, professional, and reference units, including MCP, to Pearson PLC, a London-based publishing firm. Pearson incorporated MCP into a new operation, called Pearson Education. As of 2006, textbooks bearing the MCP imprint continued to be published by Pearson.