The author examines the effects of social policy on modernization of Russian education. A special attention is addressed to such aspects of modernization as transition to a Russian national exam as well as entry of Russia in to the European educational space. The national survey show unsatisfactory treatment of these issues and mainly negative attitude of population towards modernization of education by the authorities. Ii is proved that the failures in education reforms are caused by authoritarian social policy which does not take in to account a reality of educational system and social attitudes to the reforms. It is emphasized that the main problem of Russian educational system is lack of motivation towards knowledge building among the young people. It is necessary to search the roots of this problem as well as ways to solve them taking in to account areal situation of Russian school.