South Dallas – Dallas, Texas
South Dallas is an area in Dallas, Texas. It is south of Downtown Dallas, bordered by Trinity River on the west, Interstate 30 on the north, and the Great Trinity Forest to the south and east. In recent years the City of Dallas and organizations including Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together Dallas have begun revitalizing the area in an effort to make the area more attractive to homeowners and foster economic development. This includes high schools- Lincoln High School and James Madison High School.
South Dallas is home to predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods, and the area also has one of the highest rates of poverty and unemployment in Dallas. In fact, according to ForWorkingFamilies.org, 35 and 40% of residents in five South Dallas zip codes live in poverty. However many City and private non-profit initiatives are working to revitalize the neighborhood, bring fresh foods to the residents, and bring other city residents to South Dallas to enjoy their restaurants, shops, music, and more.
The following neighborhoods are generally considered part of or closely connected with South Dallas; some of them may not be located entirely within South Dallas or may be considered parts of South Dallas by some and not others. Some are official subdivisions and some have been named by neighborhood associations.
- Dixon Circle
- Dolphin Heights
- Dunn Park
- Frazier Court
- Jubilee Park, Dallas Jubilee Park
- Queen City, Texas|Queen City
- Rose Garden, Texas|Rose Garden
- St. Phillips
- South Boulevard & Park Row Historic District
- Turner Courts
- Wheatley Place
Charles Rice Learning Center
Located in the Queen City area of South Dallas in a red brick, two-story building. In 2015 Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer stated that Rice is “generally regarded by parents as” the best elementary school in South Dallas. According to Nicholson, “regard Charles Rice as a local gem, but its reputation for quality doesn’t extend much further than that” partly due to the school’s high level of student poverty and partly due to the poor reputation of South Dallas.
The school, which as of 2015 had 98% of its students designated as having free or reduced lunch (a marker of being poor), had the highest 2013-2015 School Effectiveness Index (SEI), an internal DISD school index that determines how well a school is performing relative to its community demographics.
Nicholson wrote in March 2016 that the SEI ranking “perennially puts Charles Rice neck and neck with [Lakewood Elementary in the Lakewood neighborhood in East Dallas as the district’s best non-magnet school” even though Rice’s raw test scores, while above the DISD average, were far below Lakewood’s.
As of 2015, Rice had earned three of five distinctions from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). While many low-income schools have a lot of teacher turnover, Rice, as of 2016, has an average teacher tenure of 23.3 years.
Billy Earl Dade
The school merged with Pearl C. Anderson Middle School and opened in a new $36 million building in August 2013. In 2015 Nicholson stated that the combination of the two hostile student populations and poor administration from DISD’s central office caused it to become, for a period, “Dallas’ Worst Public School”. As of 2018, Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center (PK-5) and Charles Rice Elementary School (PK-5) feed into Dade and then into Lincoln. Because Dade MS is the only middle school near south Dallas, it feeds both Lincoln and James Madison high schools. The students that come to Dade from Paul L. Dunbar Elementary School (PK-5), Martin Luther King, Jr. Learning Center (PK-5), and Oran M. Roberts Elementary School (PK-5) attend high school at Madison.