James Madison High School (Dallas)

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James Madison High School
James Maddison HS (Dallas, TX).JPG
Madison High School in 2012
3000 Martin L. King, Jr. Blvd.


United States
Coordinates32°46′16″N 96°45′53″W / 32.77111°N 96.76472°W / 32.77111; -96.76472Coordinates: 32°46′16″N 96°45′53″W / 32.77111°N 96.76472°W / 32.77111; -96.76472
TypePublic, Secondary
LocaleSouth Dallas/Fair Park
School districtDallas Independent School District
PrincipalMarian Willard[1]
Number of students447 (2015-16)[2]
Campus size3.4 acres (1.4 ha)
Color(s)Green and Gold[3]          
Trustee, District Bernadette Nutall, 9[4]
Old Forest Avenue High School
Old Forest Avenue High School is located in Texas
Old Forest Avenue High School
Old Forest Avenue High School
Old Forest Avenue High School is located in the US
Old Forest Avenue High School
Old Forest Avenue High School
Built1916 (1916)
ArchitectW.P. Ittner
Architectural styleRenaissance
MPSEast and South Dallas MPS
NRHP reference #95000318[5]
DLMK #H/62
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 23, 1995
Designated DLMKNovember 10, 1993[6]

James Madison High School, formerly Forest Avenue High School, is a public secondary school in Dallas, Texas (USA). Madison High School enrolls students in grades 9-12 and is a part of the Dallas Independent School District.

The school is a Dallas Landmark which serves Cedars.[7] It formerly served much of Downtown Dallas,[8] until 2016.[7]

In 2015, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.[9]


The original Forest Avenue High School was constructed in 1916 in the style of Italian Renaissance architecture, in what were then fast-growing suburban areas of Dallas. The building is on the United States National Register of Historic Places on the basis of its architecture as well as its importance in the growing South Dallas community over the period ending with the close of World War II in 1945.[10] In 1951 a junior high annex for grades eight and nine was constructed at the south end of the building. Beginning in the late 1940s, the demographics of the surrounding community shifted as large numbers of African-Americans moved into the area.

On June 14, 1956, the Dallas Board of Education announced that Forest Avenue High School would have its attendance zone redrawn to relieve overcrowding at the two existing "Negro schools," Booker T. Washington High School and Lincoln High School. In keeping with its existing policy on racial segregation, the school would be reassigned as a school for black students and the current white student body would attend Crozier Tech High School.[11] The following day, the front page of The Dallas Morning News reported the criticism of the Texas Field Secretary of the NAACP, Edgar Washington, Jr., of the district's decision to turn over the school rather than to integrate.[12] The paper also ran an editorial in the same day's paper applauding the school system for providing black students with an excellent facility while not violating state law by integrating the school.[13] One week later, the paper reported a petition by "the Dad's Club [sic] and Parent-Teacher Association" of the school — with signatures from the student body — to request that the school's name, colors (green and white), and emblem (lion) be retired, with the colors and emblem remaining available to any future whites-only school that might request to use them. The principal announced at that same meeting that all Forest Avenue trophies and other memorabilia were to be transferred to Crozier Tech.[14] The school reopened that fall as James Madison High School, though the district's faculty and staff had been prepared for possible repetition of the 1955 attempts of 24 Black students to enroll in five White schools.[15]

The Forest Avenue High School Alumni Association donated items related to the school to the Dallas Public Library in 1983. The association at one time gave scholarships to Madison students but discontinued after a loss of funding. In October 2012 the association still had 800 members.[16]


The attendance rate for students at the school is 93%, compared with the state average of 96%. 12% enroll in special education, 13% enroll in gifted and talent programs, and 4% are considered "limited English proficient."[17]

The ethnic makeup of the school is 71% African American, 27% Hispanic, 1% White American, non-Hispanic, and less than 1% other races [18]

Academic performance[edit]

In 2011 2% of the black students received a "criterion" or passing grade, as defined by the State of Texas, in SAT and/or ACT. No Hispanic students received criterion scores in the tests that year.[19] In 2012 1% of Madison students made a passing score on the SAT.[20] Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer wrote that the school performed poorly and did not deserve the "high esteem" it received in South Dallas.[19] In 2013 there was a rumor that principal Marian Willard was going to be fired in light of the poor performance.[20]


The James Madison Trojans compete in the following sports in the UIL:[21]

James Madison has one of the best boys' basketball programs in the state. The team is consistently highly ranked and won its most recent 3A state championship in March 2017.[22]

Notable alumni[edit]

As Forest Avenue High School:

As James Madison High School:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dallas ISD - James Madison High School. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  2. ^ "JAMES MADISON H S". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Dallas ISD - Lincoln High School Archived 2008-08-03 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 7 January 2007.
  4. ^ Dallas ISD - Trustee by District. (PDF). Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  5. ^ National Park Service (2013-11-02). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  6. ^ Sam A. Lindsay (November 10, 1993). "Ordinance No. 21886" (PDF). City of Dallas. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "2016-17 James Madison High Attendance Zone Grades 9-12." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on April 26, 2017.
  8. ^ "2015-16 James Madison High Attendance Zone Grades 9-12." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on April 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "2015 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency.
  10. ^ Reference No. 95000318, Old Forest Avenue High School Archived 2013-02-25 at the Wayback Machine. (requires search), listing in National Register of Historic Places, certified March 23, 1995
  11. ^ Sue Connally. "Forest assigned to Negro pupils: District added to Crozier's," The Dallas Morning News, June 14, 1956, section 1, pages 1 and 9. Note: At that time, "district" was used in Dallas to refer to the attendance zone of a specific school, rather than the system as a whole.
  12. ^ Sue Connally. "Leader raps Forest switch," The Dallas Morning News, June 15, 1956, section 1, pages 1–2.
  13. ^ "Course is set by school board," The Dallas Morning News, June 15, 1956, section 3, page 2.
  14. ^ "Bid to retire name, colors, emblem made," The Dallas Morning News, June 22, 1956, section 1, page 1.
  15. ^ "Dallas schools enroll 17,000 on first day," The Dallas Morning News, September 5, 1956, section 3, pages 1,15.
  16. ^ Ragland, James (2012-10-25). "Old Forest Avenue High alumni celebrate Dallas school's heritage, look to the future". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  17. ^ [1]. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  18. ^ https://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/1623001311/school.aspx
  19. ^ a b Schutze, Jim. "Putting PrinciPals Before PrinciPles ." Dallas Observer. February 28-March 6, year unstated. Retrieved on June 11, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Schutze, Jim. "Carolyn Davis Comes Out Swinging Against School Reform, in Defense of Principals' Jobs." Dallas Observer. Friday March 22, 2013. Retrieved on June 11, 2016.
  21. ^ The Athletics Department
  22. ^ http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/dfwvarsity/boys-prep-basketball/article137946793.html

External links[edit]