In this article, the author discusses the reasons for creating the National Education Commission, its links with the Enlightenment, the school program, PE and, above all, the centralized system of management and financing of the reform. In the first place, reference was made to the characteristic trends of the Enlightenment, the way the Republic of Poland functioned until the partitions, and in the second part to KEN reform. The reform was not the effect of the long-term state education policy. It was created thanks to the coincidence of the unexpected liquidation of the Jesuit Order in Europe. The financial security of the reform was money gained from the sale of wealth of the Order, used thanks to the pioneering system in Europe of centralized management and financing of the reform. As it turned out, this system – in the absence of control – made it possible to squander and even misappropriate a large part of the funds. The effect of this was the collapse of many schools and a small number of secular teachers (eg. PE was often conducted by older students). In the KEN reform, it is difficult to find the characteristic features of the Enlightenment, because of world-view and mental-cultural issues. Moreover, the reform did not have long term prospects on the one hand due to the limited size of post-Jesussian wealth, on the other – due to the lack of alternative finacial security – regularly incoming taxes to the state, which was not the case in the Commonwealth of Poland.