Voters should elect Michael Christophersen to represent District 1 on the Seattle School Board.

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SCHOOL board races tend to attract impassioned parents eager to make a difference. The question is: Which candidate is most likely to identify problems and help fix them?

In the race for Seattle School Board District 1, Michael Christophersen brings more policy ideas and depth of knowledge than opponent Scott Pinkham.

The Times recommends:

Michael Christophersen

Michael Christophersen

Seattle School Board District 1 Director 1

Strengths: Depth of knowledge; ideas for drawing high-quality educators to district

Christophersen’s level of specificity is needed on the school board where ideology often trumps action."

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Both have children attending Seattle Public Schools and share concerns about student achievement gaps, use of funds and school facilities. Both are frustrated with the bureaucracy.

Christophersen, a software engineer, would review the central district’s staff and spending to look for savings. He wants incentives for teachers who take on low-performing or special-education students to attract high-quality educators. His background managing information-technology systems could be useful for the district as it strives to effectively use technology.

Special education is one of Christophersen’s concerns based on his own experience living with dyslexia. He proposes partnering with the University of Washington to use grant money for special-education programs.

Christophersen’s level of specificity is needed on the school board where ideology often trumps action.

Pinkham, who teaches American Indian studies and advises engineering students at the University of Washington, comes off as thoughtful, open-minded and tuned in to the district’s many dysfunctions. But he doesn’t present a compelling case on how he would move the district forward.

Voters would be better served choosing Christophersen.