Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has donated millions of dollars to global health and educational causes. Now, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is giving a $51 million grant to New York City's schools.

One of the world's wealthiest men, Bill Gates, announced his $51 million donation at a New York City high school. Speaking to students, lawmakers and reporters, he said he believes a commitment to education will "keep this country at the forefront."

"If we think of what an education needs to do in this new century, it is really to take all the students in the high schools and prepare them for colleges," he said. "It is not to track them off based on different levels of achievement."

The money is expected to help create 67 small, academically challenging high schools in underserved communities. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has already donated millions of dollars to several states, including New York, to establish schools that offer students more attention than most large high schools.

Small schools also tend to have lower drop-out rates.

The founder of the computer giant Microsoft, is a leading philanthropist in the global fight against AIDS and tuberculosis. His foundation has directed $1 billion towards combating infectious diseases.

Bill Gates announced his latest educational grant at a time when New York City has launched a new effort to revamp its troubled school system. For the first time in decades, the mayor's office now controls the city's department of education, rather than an independent board.

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, is running a massive fundraising campaign for the city's struggling schools, with a goal of creating 200 small, rigorous high schools throughout the city.