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2008 National Forum On Education Policy
June 30 – July 2, 2008
Austin, Texas ~ Renaissance Austin Hotel

What To Wear TransportationHotelThings To Do in Austin


Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is the 46th largest airport in North America, serving 8.2 million projected total passengers in 2006. The medium hub enjoys 150 departures a day to all major hub airports and a significant number of point to point service.

With 46 nonstop destinations, and 119 direct (same plane) destinations, conference attendees enjoy easy access to/from the capital of Texas. All major American airlines serve AUS, American, United, Continental, Delta, and Northwest, plus low-fare carriers, Southwest Airlines, US Airways, jetBlue Airways, Express Jet and Frontier Airlines.



American Airlines

Continental Airlines


Frontier Airlines

Express Jet


Northwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

US Airways

Airport Transit Services:

Capital Metro's Airport Flyer

  1. Please go to the Capital Metro website for fares and route maps.
  2. Capital Metro is located on the Baggage Claim Level of the airport.

Group Sales: 512-929-3900

  1. One way fare is $18 plus tip.
  2. Advanced reservations are required.
  3. Super Shuttle is located on the Baggage Claim Level of the airport.

Taxi Cab Services:

American Yellow Checker Cab

Austin Cab

Lone Star Cab

  1. One-way taxi cab fare to the Renaissance Austin Hotel is approximately $35 plus tip.
  2. Taxi cabs are located on the Baggage Claim Level of the airport.

Driving Directions From Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

  • Turn left (west) out of the airport and stay on access road for 1.1 miles until you reach Hwy 183 North.
  • Stay on Hwy 183 North for approximately 17 miles and exit at Loop 360 Capital of Texas Hwy - Great Hills Trail.
  • Turn left at first light (over freeway, stay in right lanes).
  • Take very first right turn, which is Arboretum Blvd. Hotel is on the right.

Map to hotel


The meeting headquarters hotel is:

Renaissance Austin Hotel

9721 Arboretum Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78759
(512) 343-2626 (direct to hotel)
(512) 346-7953 (fax)
(800) 468-3571 (toll free reservation number)

Hotel Reservation Procedures:

  1. You are responsible for arranging all hotel accommodations and cancellations. Rooms at the National Forum rate are limited, so book as early as possible.
  2. Please call the Hotel’s in-house Reservations Department or Renaissance’s Central Reservations at the phone numbers listed above. Ask for the "Education Commission of the States" room block to ensure you get the group rate of $151 + 15% tax for a single- or double-occupancy room.
  3. Check-in time is 3:00 p.m.; check-out time is 12:00 p.m.
  4. If you would like a confirmation number for your reservation, please ask the hotel reservations department for one when you make your reservation.
  5. Reservations will not be accepted without a credit card number or deposit. The Renaissance Austin Hotel requires a one-night deposit by credit card. Your reservation will be guaranteed for late arrival.
  6. In order to get the ECS group room rate, you MUST reserve your room by Friday, May 23, 2008. After this date, room reservations are on a space available basis and not necessarily at the ECS group room rate.
  7. In the event the ECS room block at the hotel fills up before Friday, May 23, 2008, please send an email to
 Hotel Room Cancellation Procedures:
  1. To cancel your reservation, please call the hotel main number at least 72 hours prior to your arrival date.
  2. If you fail to cancel your reservation within 72 hours of arrival date, you will be charged for one night's room and tax.

Hotel Amenities

  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm clock
  • Bottled water, for a fee
  • Coffee maker/tea service
  • Crib
  • Electrical adapters
  • Individual climate control
  • Internet browser/Web TV
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Luxurious bedding – down comforters, custom duvets, cotton-rich linens
  • Hair dryer
  • Auxiliary aids and services available.
  • Service animals allowed for persons with disabilities
  • Cable/satellite TV including: CNN, ESPN, HBO
  • Movies/videos, pay-per-view
  • Wet bar
  • Electrical outlet: desk level
  • Two-line phone with voice mail
  • Concierge desk
  • Full-service business center
  • Safe deposit boxes, front desk
  • Shoeshine
  • Health club
  • Complimentary self parking.
  • Valet parking, fee: $14/daily
  • Pets allowed, non-refundable sanitation fee. Contact hotel for details

Restaurants & Lounges


  1. Deli style
  2. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  3. Deli sandwiches, made-to-order brick oven pizzas and desserts. Wines served in the evenings. Proudly serving Starbucks coffee.

Banderas-A Texas Bistrot

  1. American fare
  2. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  3. Texas Tapas-style menu featuring local flavors live

Lobby Bar

  1. Join the fun at the hotel bar where a roll of the dice inspires the day's cocktail creation




  • Biking trail
  • Bowling (5 mi)
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding (15 mi)
  • Jet-skiing (12 mi)
  • Jogging/fitness trail
  • Kayaking (12 mi)
  • Miniature golf (3 mi)
  • Rock climbing (1 mi)
  • Sailing (12 mi)
  • Sauna
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling (12 mi)
  • Tennis (5 mi)
  • Water-skiing (12 mi)


Attractions & Landmarks

Download Hotel information sheet:
Hotel Info.pdf

In the state capitol of Texas, they pride themselves on being far from ordinary. Live music echoes from every corner of the city. They're home to a singer named Willie, a cyclist named Lance and a Longhorn steer named Bevo. As the gateway to the Texas Hill Country, rolling hills and sparkling waterways form the natural landscape. The pages of Texas history — fact and myth alike — unfold at the Texas State History Museum, while the legacy of a president lives on at the LBJ Presidential Library & Museum. See an interactive map of Austin.

Musically Talentedaustin1
A night on the town in the Live Music Capital of the World® naturally includes music at nearly 200 venues on any given evening. Country, blues, rock and roll, Western swing, hip-hop, Tejano and Latin jazz defines Austin's unique music genre. The largest concentration of venues is found downtown in the Warehouse District and along Sixth Street.

In its 31st season, Austin City Limits continues to be the best free show in town. The PBS television series showcases American and Texas roots music. For information on tapings, call the ticket hotline at 512-471-4811.

austin2Naturally Appealing
Austin stakes a claim to being the "Gateway to the Hill Country." Along the western edge of the city, the Balcones Escarpment rises up to separate flat prairies from the rolling hills. Blessed with an undulating landscape and 300 days of sunshine a year, Austin lives for the outdoors. Three lakes surround the city, with Town Lake bisecting downtown. Some 10 miles of hike-and-bike trails border the lake.

Each night from March through October, more than 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from beneath Congress Avenue Bridge that spans Town Lake. Zilker Park offers wide-open spaces for flying kites, playing frisbee or listening to music. Swimmers take a deep breath before plunging into the 68-degree waters of Barton Springs Pool.  Inspired by hometown boy Lance Armstrong, cyclists pedal along bike lanes and trails throughout the city.

Historically Speakingaustin3
Originally a buffalo hunting ground for Native Americans, Austin was permanently settled in 1838 as a trading post on the Colorado River. Some 657,000 residents now live in the city named for colonist Stephen F. Austin.

The pink granite Texas State Capitol commands a stately presence in downtown and stands 14 feet taller than the nation's statehouse. Interactive exhibits at the Capitol Visitors Center, housed in the Old General Land Office, peek behind the scenes at the statehouse. The Lone Star State's history comes together under one roof at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Culturally Diverse
Recognized among the world's top creative cities, Austin supports a thriving arts and cultural scene. Ranked as the city having the highest creativity index score in Richard Florida's ground-breaking book "The Rise of the Creative Class," Austin nurtures scores of musicians, artists, entrepreneurs and a fabled laid-back lifestyle. Austin is one of only a few U.S. cities with professional ballet, opera, symphony and theater companies. The cultural offerings include some 20 museums, dozens of art galleries and more than 60 performance companies.

Mexic-Arte Museum exhibits art traditions of Mexico, while Arthouse features changing exhibits of contemporary Texas artists. The Austin Museum of Art maintains collections in two locations, downtown and at Laguna Gloria, a historic villa on Lake Austin. A newly expanded George Washington Carver Museum reveals the city's deep-rooted African-American heritage with permanent and changing exhibitions.

The former home and studio of 19th-century sculptress Elisabet Ney is the city's oldest museum. Umlauf Sculpture Garden showcases the work of the city's most famous 20th century sculptor.

austin4The drama, comedy and music at the Paramount Theatre, a restored movie palace, span from Broadway to the much beloved Tuna, Texas. Outstanding stage productions spill over to the State Theatre next door. The company of Zachary Scott Theatre consistently produces rollicking entertainment. A multi-cultural world of music and dance takes the stage at One World Theatre.

Outstanding cultural resources are found on the campus of the University of Texas, where the Blanton Museum of Art opened a new facility showcasing an extensive collection spanning from Latin American folk art to contemporary masters. The renowned Harry Ransom Center ranks among the country's top cultural archives, housing such treasures as a rare Gutenberg Bible, the world's first photograph and Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate collection. The Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum chronicles the rise of a young Texas man from a humble upbringing to the pinnacle of power.

Ballet Austin, under the artistic direction of Stephen Mills, emerges among the country's leading ballet companies. In its 96th season, The Austin Symphony continues to entertain a vast audience with music ranging from children's concerts to pops series. The Austin Lyric Opera stages a full season of favorite classics as well as provocative new works.

Locally Prepared
Time was when eating out in Austin meant three choices — barbecue, Tex-Mex and chicken-fried steak. Granted, those are still the holy trinity of the local dining scene, but the cuisine here now simmers with a decidedly more sophisticated and international flair. The Wall Street Journal labels Austin as one of the country's "up-and-coming culinary hot spots." In the past four years, three Austin chefs have been listed among Food & Wine magazine's "Top 10 Young Chefs." The classical French cooking techniques of Le Cordon Bleu are even taught at Texas Culinary Academy.

Casual business attire is acceptable for all events including the James Bryant Conant Award banquet lunch on Tuesday afternoon. In July, average temperatures in Austin are around 95˚ during the day and 73˚ in the evening. Also, because room temperature and personal comfort zones vary widely, we recommend you bring a sweater or jacket to meeting sessions and outdoor functions.

For questions or assistance, please contact:

Karen Kepler Associate National Forum and Event Manager
or 303.299.3621

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