My daughter graduated from Wilde Lake last year and had an excellent selection of colleges from which to choose. She was academically challenged, had the opportunity to play multiple sports, was well prepared for her college experience, and was involved in numerous extra-curricular activities. The administration, lead by an outstanding principal, is among the best in the county. The AP teachers are excellent (Wilde Lake AP scores are generally number 1 or 2 of all the county high schools). The diversity of the school was a great part of her school experience. I have heard kids from other Howard County schools say that they want to go to a college that is diverse because their high school was not. I say go to Wilde Lake High School where you can have it all!
We have had two boys go through Wilde Lake, it is diverse, supportive, accepting, and academically challenging, all in one package. Most of the teachers are excellent, with the exception of a few weak links, but for the most part excellent. The administration is phenomenal. Period. LOVE the principals and vices, and even the arts are excellent. We had the experience of mostly honors, GT and AP classes, so I cannot speak to the quality of the on-grade classes. The diversity of Wilde Lake and Columbia is what brought us to Columbia 18 years ago, when we craved a diverse area to raise our family and Wilde Lake is truly a testament to what James Rouse had envisioned when he designed Columbia. We have neighbors whose children have gone to through Wilde Lake and ended up at Duke, Harvard, Columbia, you name it.
I can mostly speak for the Honors, GT and AP, but after having two kids go through Wilde Lake, there are only maybe 2 we felt were not as affective or gifted in the art of teaching as they should have been.